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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.
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.
Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe & Oceania, ed. Jerome Rothenberg
Tea for contemplation, writing, study, quiet musing.
Coffee for work with tools, conversation, camping, icy weather outdoors
Breathe deep; get ready for the next millennium; listen closer; work harder; keep the old ways alive for the future.