I come to sing praises of another brilliant mind that we have the privilege of featuring in our programs! Andrew Schelling is a poet, translator, essay writer, and anthology editor. With multiple published titles, Schelling is a highly respected for his work with the poetry of India, and is a welcome and adored figure within Cascadia Poetics Lab. Schelling will be engaging in a talk regarding eco-poetics with poets Jan Zwicky and Brenda Hillman at the Cascadia Poetry Festival on October 6-8, 2023. He is also a contributor to Cascadian Zen Vol I, published by Watershed Press and Cascadia Poetics Lab, and will be teaching a workshop this fall on the Cantos by Ezra Pound. We are honored to work with such an accomplished and respected poet and translator.
Andrew Schelling studied Sanskrit and Asian literature at UC Berkeley, and in 1992 received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets for Dropping the Bow: Poems of Ancient India, a collection of poems from India translated two thousand years after their original composition. Schelling has travelled through North America, Europe, India and the Himalayas and taught at the Deer Park Institute in India, which is a center focusing on the study of classical Indian wisdom traditions. Schelling’s work shows a dedication to Indian culture and language as he translates and teaches it. This dedication and immersion to learning his subject in order to accurately represent it only makes his work stronger, earning him high accolades and respect in his multiple fields. Schelling is known to collaborate with fellow poets, along with Zen practitioners and ecologists, and engages in excursions throughout the natural landscape as a part of his work with ecological issues of the American West. Growing up in Arizona and now living in Washington, I am quite aware of the environmental state of the American West. I am also familiar with the breathtaking beauty of the American West and the importance of preserving these landscapes, much of which is described within Schelling’s poetry and highlights his respect to the natural world that he explores. Through his own poetry and through the ancient poetry that he translates, a love for the land and for the cultures that inhabit these lands are palpable.
Along with dedicating himself to the translation of Indian poetry, Schelling has also studied the Arapaho language, an indigenous language spoken by the Arapaho people. Based on his studies of the language, Schelling wrote From the Arapaho Songbook, a poem in 108 stanzas incorporating words and syntax from Arapaho and including natural and bioregional history from the Southern Rocky Mountains. Schelling teaches poetry, translation, Sanskrit and more at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. We are honored to continue to work with him, and look forward to his work at the Cascadia Poetry Festival and his upcoming workshop.