Flowers to the River: Jinpa Screening and Poets’ Roundtable

Two figures sitting inside a car decorated with an image hanging from the rearview mirror look past the viewer.
Still image from Jinpa (2018), courtesy of the dGenerate Collection at Icarus Films

Join us Saturday, September 23, at 5 pm, for a screening of renowned Tibetan director Pema Tseden’s film Jinpa (2018, Tibet, 87 min., digital), which will be followed by a discussion with poets Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Sonam Tsomo Chashutsang, Lekey Leidecker, and Namgyal Tsepak. This screening and discussion is the fifth and final 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 Film

This is a story of revenge and redemption. On an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver who has accidentally run over a sheep chances upon a young man who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that this man is out to kill someone who wronged him. As he drops the hitchhiker off at a fork in the road, little does the truck driver realize that their short time together has changed everything, and that their destinies are inexorably intertwined.

“An extraordinary departure from the realist narratives that have made Pema Tseden’s works celebrated at film festivals around the world. It is a fable, a Tibetan road movie, and a tribute to classic Westerns all at once. Jinpa‘s ferocious, visionary power is onscreen for all to see.” —Cinema Scope

About the Speakers

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is the author of the poetry books, My Rice Tastes Like the Lake, In the Absent Everyday, and Rules of the House (all from Apogee Press, Berkeley) and three chapbooks of which Revolute was published in 2021 by Albion Books. Dhompa’s first non-fiction book, Coming Home to Tibet was published in the US by Shambhala Publications in 2016 and by Penguin, India in 2014. She was born in India and raised in the Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal. Dhompa teaches in the English Department at Villanova University.

Sonam Tsomo Chashutsang is a poet who writes in Tibetan, English, and Hindi. She has a degree in creative writing from Miami University, and publishes in the online journal, Khabdha, one of the most popular Tibetan literary sites, and TibetWrites, which publishes the creative work of Tibetan writers. Her work has been published in Newtown Literary, Bridges (Villanova University), and in a special issue of Cadernos on Tibet, entitled “Testemunho poético de tibetanos no exílio” (“The Poetic Testimony of Tibetan in Exile”). She was born and raised in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India, and attended Sarah College in Dharamsala before moving to the United States with a scholarship to Miami University in Ohio.

Lekey Leidecker (she/her/མོ་) is a Tibetan writer and poet born and raised in Berea, Kentucky. Her family is from Pemako. She divides her time between New York City and London. Her poems and essays have been published in Yeshe, The Pomelo, Diaspora Baby Blues, ANMLY, Genre: Urban Arts, Rigorous, and elsewhere. Her first poetry collection is forthcoming from Blackneck Books in 2023.

Namgyal (Nanjie) Tsepak is an Academic Counselor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Originally from northwestern Tibet, he received his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University, and Masters degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University, with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. He also worked as a translator for Pema Tseden during the film director’s visit to the United States.

Flowers to the River: Tibetan Poetry in Dialogue Events

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