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Zen Luminaries Series
A Conversation with
Poet & Translator David Hinton

No-Gate Gateway and The Blue Cliff Record

A PZI Zen Online Event Hosted by Jon Joseph & Friends

July 1st, 2024
Monday Evening, 6–7:30 pm PDT

I’ve been translating classical Chinese poetry for many years, and slowly over those years I’ve come to realize that in translation I’ve stumbled upon a way to think outside the limitations not just of the mainstream Western intellectual tradition, but also of my own identity, a way to speak in the voice of ancient China’s sage-masters, and for them to speak in mine.

from Hunger Mountain

David Hinton has published numerous books of poetry and essays, and many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy that create contemporary works of compelling literary power, while also conveying the actual texture and density of the originals. These books are all informed by an abiding interest in deep ecological thinking, in exploring the weave of consciousness and landscape.

This work has earned wide acclaim and many national awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States: the Landon Translation Award (Academy of American Poets) and the PEN American Translation Award. Most recently, Hinton received a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Jon Joseph Roshi of San Mateo Zen and PZI created this series to support the hardworking innovators and shining voices of modern Zen: scholars, writers, poets, translators, activists, artists, teachers, and more.

All proceeds for each event, including teacher dana, go directly to the guest speaker. Event attendees are encouraged to give as generously as you are able, so we can offer deep thanks to Luminaries guests.

Our suggested donation is $10 for PZI Members and $12 for Non-Members, but the scale slides from zero depending on one’s ability to contribute. We also greatly appreciate Patrons, who help support the program with larger gifts of $50—250.