Friday, February 10, 2017 at Maui Arts and Cultural Center, McCoy Studio Theater
The Merwin Conservancy Presented Prolific Translator and Travel Writer Bill Porter (aka Red Pine), in The Green Room, Friday, February 10th, 2017.
“Bill Porter has been one of the most prolific translators of Chinese texts, while also developing into a travel writer with a cult following.” — The New York Times
Porter appeared in The Green Room with an inspiring presentation entitled “The Search for Solitude: China’s Hermit Tradition” based on his book Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits, which has become a best-seller in China, where it has sold a quarter of a million copies in its Chinese translation 空谷幽蘭.
Porterʻs translation work is done exclusively under the name Red Pine, while his travel writing is done under his given name, Bill Porter. Porterʻs life as a translator began in a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan in the 1970’s, when a monk handed him a book of poetry by Han-Shan (Cold Mountain). Discovering there a profound “world that has no words,” Porter went on to become a revered translator of dozens of important texts including Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, The Heart Sutra, and The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse.
Over a career spanning three decades, he has translated many classical Chinese poets and important works of Taoist and Buddhist literature. Informed by his own Buddhist practice and travels throughout Asia, Red Pineʻs work distinctively carries a generosity of spirit that opens up these challenging texts to the English-speaking world. He has been the recipient of the PEN Translation Prize, WESTAF Award in Translation, Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Literary Fellowship.
Bill Porter (aka Red Pine) in The Green Room was generously presented by FIM Group.
Photos by Bryan Berkowitz