Bill Porter (Red Pine) on Zen and Taoist Masters, Mountain Hermits, & the Life of a Translator

(My audio starts shaky, but gets better after 8 minutes)

Bill Porter, aka Red Pine, calls the hermit life, "graduate school for the spiritually inclined." Bill Porter is a translator of Buddhist and Taoist mountain poets that uncross your third eye and waft the scent of a  fine scotch. 

What can I say about Bill Porter that he won’t say better about himself? I first stumbled on his book Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits while on retreat. His adventures and chitchats with hermits beckoned me to discover more about this hermit tradition and the man captivated by trekking into the mountains in search of monks living off the map. Bill is credited with an uptick of interest in the hermit life in China.

Stateside Bill Porter is best known under his translator name of Red Pine, translating the work of Cold Mountain, Stonehouse, Lao Tzu and others over at the granddaddy of beautiful publishing Copper Canyon. We talk about this and more. 

To visit Bill Porter, well if you bump into him in his hometown. To find his work online go his publisher Copper Canyon at

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