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Chinese scholar to speak at NMSU

Bill Porter, a scholar and author who has studied China and its poetry and religious texts, is scheduled to give a presentation next week as part of New Mexico State University’s Confucius Institute Speaker Series.



Bill Porter, a Chinese scholar, will speak at NMSU next week as part of the Confucius Institute Speaker series. (Courtesy photo)

Porter’s presentation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 27 at the NMSU College of Health and Social Services Auditorium inside the CHSS annex. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The talk is based on Porter’s book, “Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits,” which has sold 250,000 copies in China and has become a bestseller there. Porter, who is also known as Red Pine, was born in Van Nuys, California, and grew up in northern Idaho. He earned his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his master’s degree in anthropology from Columbia University. While living in New York, Porter became interested in Buddhism, and in 1972 he moved to a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. He also lived in Hong Kong, and returned to the U.S in 1993 with his wife and two children.

For the past 20 years, Porter has worked as an independent scholar and has given talks at many of the major universities in the U.S., England and Germany on Chinese history, culture, poetry and religion. His translations of texts dealing with these subjects have been honored with a number of awards, including two NEA translation fellowships, a PEN translation award, the inaugural Asian Literature Award of the American Literary Translators Association and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

For more information on the Confucius Institute, please visit http://confucius.nmsu.edu/.