Andrew Schelling | 303-245-4811

Core Faculty


MA in Religious Studies: Indo-Tibetan Buddhism - Core Faculty
BA in Creative Writing and Literature - Core Faculty
BA in Religious Studies - Core Faculty
MA in Religious Studies: Contemplative Religions - Core Faculty
MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics - Core Faculty


BA, University of California–Santa Cruz


ANDREW SCHELLING has taught at Naropa University since 1990. He is a poet, translator, and essay writer, author of twenty books. Outdoorsman, Buddhist, and eco-activist, he works on land-use issues in the American West, particularly what impacts the Southern Rocky bioregion. Reintroduction of wolf and moose, human impact on wildlife areas, firearms policy, and wilderness access, are all issues he has taken up. At Naropa he divides his teaching between the Department of Religious Studies and the Jack Kerouac School. 

Schelling’s entry to poetry and Buddhism came in the Bay Area in the 1980s. He received a BA in Religious Studies at UC Santa Cruz, then edited a highly regarded poetics journal, Jimmy & Lucy’s House of “K,” and studied Sanskrit and Zen Buddhism in the East Bay. His first book, Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India, received the Academy of American Poets award for translation in 1992. It was the first time that old-school outfit had honored translations from Asia. 

Schelling’s poetry grapples with wilderness, Asian poetics, languages, Buddhist metaphysics, and myth. Recent books include From the Arapaho Songbook and A Possible Bag; full of ghosts, wildlife, blues, friends & lovers, the poems draw on natural history and the study of languages. He is at work on a companion volume, Tenth Song of the Meadowlark, and has edited two popular anthologies, The Wisdom Anthology of North American Buddhist Poetry, and Love and the Turning Seasons: India’s Poetry of Spiritual & Erotic Longing.

Most recent title is Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture (Counterpoint Press). It is a folkloric account of West Coast wilderness, linguistics, bohemian poets, indigenous lore, and spiritual restlessness. He has given readings and interviews for the book this year in Boulder, Santa Fe, Berkeley, San Francisco, Big Sur, Point Reyes Station, Bolinas, as well as in Seattle and Port Townsend in the Cascadia Bioregion. 

He contributes to many journals including Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and Pacific Rim Review of Books. His translations from India’s 7th century poet Bhartrihari—Some Unquenchable Desire—will come out from Shambhala Publications late this year. Schelling lives in a former mining district in the mountains above Boulder.

From the heart

I've traveled east and west and never seen a center of learning, a place with the color, the heart, the steady confidence, as students reveal, here at Naropa. What other college has two hearts, the meditation hall and the library? Where else can you find a Japanese tea house, historic buildings, and a campus where every day it feels like students and faculty are not so much building careers as envisioning culture and community? The leaves whirl, the snow falls, and the great thinkers of past and future walk among us.


  • Academy of American Poets Prize in Translation, 1992, for Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India
  • Witter Bynner Foundation grant for poetry, 1996, 1998

Recent publications/teachings


  • From the Arapaho Songbook, La Alameda Press, 2011
  • A Possible Bag, Singing Horse Press, 2013
  • The Oxford Anthology of Bhakti Literature, Oxford University Press, 2011
  • The Real People of Wind & Rain: Talks, Essays, & an Interview, Singing Horse Press, 2014
  • Bright as an Autumn Moon: Fifty Poems from the Sanskrit, University of Hawaii Press, 2014
  • Love and the Turning Seasons: India’s Poetry of Spiritual & Erotic Longing, Counterpoint Press, 2014
  • Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture, Counterpoint Press, 2017


  • American Literary Translators Association, Tucson, 2015
  • Uberoi Foundation, Tampa, 2015
  • Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, 2015
  • American Writing Programs, Minneapolis, 2015
  • "Seeding the John Muir Way," Scotland, 2014
  • Glasgow Royal Botanical Gardens, 2014
  • Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens, 2014
  • The Public School of Oakland, 2014
  • Deer park Institute, Himachal Pradesh, India, 2012

Research and scholarship

  • Working on "Tracks Along the Left Coast: Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Rim Culture" with research at the American Philosophical Institute, Philadelphia and UC Santa Cruz special collections.
  • Volume III of "From the Arapaho Songbook: Poems."

Courses taught

  • Tracks Along the Left Coast
  • Literature of the Pacific Rim
  • Translation
  • Writing Poetry: Wild Form
  • Investigative Poetry
  • 19th Century American Literature
  • Sanskrit int he Sacred Traditions of India
  • Sanskrit III & IV
  • The Long Poem: Writing Workshop
  • The Cantos of Ezra Pound

What book do you find yourself regularly pressing into the hands of students?

Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe & Oceania, ed. Jerome Rothenberg

Coffee or tea?

Tea for contemplation, writing, study, quiet musing.

Coffee for work with tools, conversation, camping, icy weather outdoors 

What's next?

Breathe deep; get ready for the next millennium; listen closer; work harder; keep the old ways alive for the future.