The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse: A Celebration in Translation and Song

Reading with Red Pine and Jessika Kenney with friends

Thursday, May 22, 2014
7:00 – 8:00 pm

The poetry of Stonehouse, the fourteenth-century Chinese hermit and poet, is presented in a bilingual reading by translator Red Pine and musical performance by vocalist and composer Jessika Kenney with musicians Eyvind Kang and Jarrad Powell.

Presented by the Frye Art Museum, Copper Canyon Press, and the Rose Theatre in conjunction with Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930, on view at the Frye Art Museum through May 25, 2014, and the publication of The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse (May 2014, Copper Canyon Press).

The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse
The Zen master and mountain hermit Stonehouse, considered one of the greatest Chinese Buddhist poets, used poetry as his medium of instruction. Near the end of his life, monks asked him to record what he found of interest on his mountain; Stonehouse delivered to them hundreds of poems. Newly revised, with the Chinese originals and Red Pine’s abundant commentary and notes, The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse is an essential volume for Zen students, readers of Asian literature, and all who love the outdoors.

About the Presenters

Bill Porter assumes the pen name Red Pine for his translation work. He was born in Los Angeles in 1943, grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, served a tour of duty in the US Army, graduated from the University of California with a degree in anthropology, and attended graduate school at Columbia University. Uninspired by the prospect of an academic career, he dropped out of Columbia and moved to a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. After four years with the monks and nuns, he struck out on his own and eventually found work at English-language radio stations in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where he interviewed local dignitaries and produced more than a thousand programs about his travels in China. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington and has been the recipient of the PEN Translation Prize, WESTAF Award in Translation, Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Literary Fellowship. Copper Canyon Press has published five volumes of Red Pine's Chinese translations, including the best-sellers Taoteching and Collected Songs of Cold Mountain.

Jessika Kenney is a Northwest-based vocalist and composer/improviser practicing the traditional vocal arts of Classical Persian Avaz and Central Javanese Sindhenan. Her on-going collaboration with violist/composer/improviser Eyvind Kang has been described in The New York Times as "work of delicate beauty" and "serious, refined music." Kenney's music is based in close readings of talismanic and philosophical texts, including "Atria" commissioned by the Cornell Gamelan Ensemble and "For Samsu Tabarit" performed by Gamelan Pacifica and friends. Since 2004 she has studied and performed with the world-renowned ney player and vocalist Ostad Hossein Omoumi. Kenney is an adjunct faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts and recipient of a 2013 Stranger Genius Award in Music with Eyvind Kang, and most recently, the prestigious Artist Trust James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award.


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