Flowers to the River: The Bardo of Translation

Two smiling white skeletons with large eyes appear to dance atop an orange oval against a black background decorated with orange flames and teal and green swirls.
Unrecorded Tibetan artist, Gurgyi Gönpo, the Lord of the Tent (detail), 19th century, distemper on cloth, 70 ¼ x 35 ½ inches, The Jack Shear Collection of Himalayan Art

Join us Saturday, September 23, at noon, for The Bardo of Translation. Benjamin Bogin, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, Skidmore College, and Dominique Townsend, Associate Professor of Religion, Bard College, will read and discuss their translation of the fourteenth-century text Root Verses on the Six Bardos. This discussion is the third event in the series Flowers to the River: Tibetan Poetry in Dialogue.

In connection with Forms of Awakening: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection of Himalayan Art, Flowers to the River: Tibetan Poetry in Dialogue explores connections between the visual art featured in the exhibition and the work of contemporary Tibetan poets and translators through readings, discussions, a poetry workshop, and a film screening.

The event is free and open to the public.

About the Speakers

Benjamin Bogin is an Associate Professor of Asian Studies at Skidmore College. He received his MA and PhD (Buddhist Studies) from the University of Michigan. Bogin spent six years living in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he directed study-abroad programs in the Himalayas for American students. His book The Illuminated Life of the Great Yolmowa was published in 2013 by Serindia Publications and he is the co-editor of Himalayan Passages: Tibetan and Newar Studies in Honor of Hubert Decleer published by Wisdom Publications in 2014. His primary research interests are Tibetan Buddhist autobiography and the intersections of visual art, narrative, and sacred geography in Buddhist cultures.

Dominique Townsend is Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies at Bard College. Her research focuses on Buddhist aesthetics and cultural production. Her book A Buddhist Sensibility: Aesthetics and Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern Tibet was published by Columbia University Press. Townsend’s newest research project involves Tibetan poetics and the challenges of translation. She is also a poet—her first book of poems The Weather & Our Tempers was published by Brooklyn Arts Press.

Flowers to the River: Tibetan Poetry in Dialogue Events

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