Tenzin Dickie: Tibetan Stories of Homeland, Exile, and Diaspora


 Tenzin Dickie is a poet, writer and translator living in NYC. Her work has appeared in Cultural AnthropologyThe Washington Post online, Words Without Borders and Modern Poetry in Translation, among other places, and are forthcoming in The Tibet Reader by Duke University Press. She is editor of Old Demons, New Deities published by OR Books, which is the first English-language anthology of modern Tibetan fiction published in the west.

She is also editor of The Treasury of Lives, an online, open-access biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia and the Himalayan Region. A 2014-2015 fellow of the American Literary Translators’ Association, she holds an MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University where she was a Hertog fellow, and a BA in English literature from Harvard University.

Born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India where she lived till she was fourteen, her family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, through the Tibetan Resettlement Program. After attending the local high school, she went on to study English and American literature at Harvard where she was President of the Harvard Students for a Free Tibet and features editor of the Harvard South Asian Journal. She then worked at the Office of Tibet, NY, as Special Assistant to the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas.

While doing her MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation at Columbia, she began to study and translate contemporary Tibetan poetry into English. As the Chinese Communist Party works to censor and suppress Tibetan language works, Dickie focuses on a group of established and emerging writers in and around Amdo and is happy to be a conduit in making their work available to the rest of the world. Her current translation project is Pema Bhum’s memoir of his teacher, Remembering Dorje Tsering. One of the rare Tibetan accounts of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, it’s the story of how Dorje Tsering saved the Tibetan language in his area of Rebkong, at a time when Tibetan could no longer be taught in schools, by teaching his students Mao Zedong Thought in Tibetan.