Literary Figures

These translators, poets, essayists, and novelists have published major works of Tibetan literature, or major analyses of them, or in many cases both. This list is nowhere near exhaustive, but it includes all of the authors and translators, and most of the editors, of works we reproduce on this site.

Lauran Hartley

Lauran Hartley is Tibetan Studies Librarian for the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University and occasionally serves as Adjunct Lecturer in Tibetan Literature for the Department of East As

Yidam Tsering

Yidam Tsering was born in 1933 to Tibetan peasant parents in Tsongkha, on the outskirts of Xining, capital of Qinghai Province. In 1949, after the Communists took control of Qinghai, he entered a prov

Yangtso Kyi

Yangtso Kyi was born in 1963 in the nomadic area of Qinghai Province. Though her primary-school education was several times interrupted by the need to tend her family’s herds, she persisted in h

Heather Stoddard

Professor Stoddard leads the Tibetan studies program at the National Institute for Oriental Languages & Civilizations in Paris. She is the translator, here, of “An Old Ruined Fort” by

Yangdon Dhondup

Yangdon Dhondup, དབྱངས་སྒྲོན་གྲུབ།, was born in India and grew up in Switzerland. She obtained her Ph.D. from SOAS in 2004. Her scholarly articles, translations and reviews have appeared in Inner Asia

Ronald D. Schwartz

Ronald D. Schwartz is a professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and a former honorary research fellow at the Centre of Asian Studies of the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Schwartz has

Tsering Shakya

Born in Lhasa, ཚེ་རིང་ཤཱཀྱ།Tsering Shakya fled to India with his family after the Chinese invasion. He then won a scholarship to study in Britain, and was later to graduate from London University’s Sc

Dondrub Gyal

Dondrub Gyal,དོན་འགྲུབ་རྒྱལ།, whose name is also romanized “Dhondup Gyal,” began publishing in 1980 and is credited with founding modern Tibetan literature. In 1985, feeling that the fate

Pema Tseten

Pema Tseten, པདྨ་ཚེ་བརྟན།, was born in 1968 in Trika (Tib. Khri ka, Ch. Guide) and graduated from the Northwest Nationalities Institute. He has been writing in both Tibetan and Chinese since 1991. Hav

Ju Kalsang

Ju Kalsang or Ju Kalzang, འཇུ་སྐལ་བཟང།, is one of the most widely acclaimed Tibetan poets today. After earning a master’s degree in 1987 at Qinghai Nationalities College, he returned to his nati

Riika J. Virtanen

Riika J. Virtanen earned her Ph.D. in South Asian Studies in 2011 at the University of Helsinki. Her dissertation entitled Tibetan Written Images: A Study of Imagery in the Writings of Dhondup Gyal (S

Trashi Penden

Trashi Penden, བཀྲ་ཤིས་དཔལ་ལྡན།, was born in Rinpung in central Tibet. In 1976, he left high school to return to his home village to teach in the local commune school. In 1985, he became a reporter an

Tashi Dawa

Tashi Dawa, བཀྲ་ཤིས་ཟླ་བ།, was born in Batang County, Sichuan Province, in 1959. His father is Tibetan, and his mother is Han Chinese; both are Chinese-speaking Communist Party members. His first fict

Herbert Batt

Dr. Herbert J. Batt earned his PhD from the University of Toronto and has taught at Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Beijing Capital University. The transl


Alai, འ་ལེ།,  was born to Tibetan peasant parents in Maerkang, Sichuan Province, in 1959. In 1980, he graduated from Maerkang Normal College and began teaching. He published his first collection of po

Pema Bhum

Pema Bhum, པདྨ་འབུམ།, is Director of the Latse Contemporary Tibetan Cultural Library in New York City, which is a project of the Trace Foundation, where he has worked since 1997. He holds an M.A. in T


Jangbu (né Chenaktsang Dorje Tsering), ལྗང་བུ།, who also writes under the pen name Seru (“Rhinoceros”), is one of the most influential intellectuals on the contemporary Tibetan scene. Born

Palden Gyal

Palden Gyal, དཔལ་ལྡན་རྒྱལ།,  is the founder of the noted Tibetan literary journal  Jangzhon and the independent newspaper Tibet Times. His collection of poetry in Tibetan, The Offering and Other Poems

Tsering Döndrup

Tsering Döndrup, ཚེ་རིང་དོན་འགྲུབ།, was born in the 1960s in what is traditionally known as Sokpo Dajujik (Sog po mda’bcu gcig), present-day Malho Mongolian Autonomous County in Qinghai Province

Matthew Akester

Matthew Akester is a translator of classical and modern literary Tibetan with 25 years of fieldwork experience as an independent researcher throughout the Tibetan world. His discipline is history, bot