Bill Porter (aka "Red Pine") is widely recognized as one of the world's preeminent translators of Chinese poetry and religious texts; he assumes the pen name "Red Pine" for his translations.
Bill Porter was born in Los Angeles in 1943 and grew up in the Idaho panhandle. He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army (1964-67), graduated from the University of California with a degree in anthropology in 1970, and attended graduate school at Columbia University. Uninspired by the prospect of an academic career, he dropped out of Columbia and moved in 1972 to a Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. After four years with the monks and nuns, he struck out on his own and eventually found work at English-language radio stations in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where he produced over one thousand programs about his travels in China. In 1993 he returned to America with his family and has lived ever since near Seattle, Washington.
Writing as Bill Porter, he is the author of several travelogues, including Road to Heaven, which focuses on his interactions with Taoist hermits in the mountains of China; Zen Baggage; and his Guggenheim project, Finding Them Gone: Visiting China's Poets of the Past.
Writing as Red Pine, he was the first translator to ever translate the entirety of Han-shan's oeurve into English, published as The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain. Red Pine was also the first to translate into English the entirely of The Poems of the Masters. He has also translated several of the major Buddhist sutras, including the Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, and Platform Sutra.