About Douglas Penick

Douglas Penick

My approach to writing has evolved out of Western classical culture, chaos, Buddhist study and practice, and theater.

What I write about has moved from presenting traditional icons in newer formats, but now searches for the long and enduring phrases of luminosity hidden throughout the vectors of our continuing. Here language, like a shimmering dragon, is a sinuous, self-existing, self-renewing linkage. So, I write novels about detectives, artists, teachers, emperors, eunuch-slaves; short stories about dancers, musicians, politicians, wanderers, and plays about demons and heroes, collaborative performance pieces about survivors, soldiers and story tellers.

It is my hope that in all these and all that will follow, I contribute to the mischief, longing, satisfaction, lust, sorrow and fascination which make our presence in this world a discovery of true love.


B. A. Princeton University:


  • The Graham Foundation (Chicago)
  • The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry

Long Fiction:

  • The Warrior Song of King Gesar (Wisdom Publications, Boston, Mass. 1998/Mill City Press 2009)
  • (French Translation Amy Le Cam, Editions Guy Tresdaniel 2003)
  • Crossings on a Bridge of Light (Mill City Press 2009)
  • Secret Annals (forthcoming in French – Editions de Grand Est)

Performance Pieces:

  • Three Songs (Peter Lieberson, composer) Fromm Foundation (DGG, Fall 2002)
  • King Gesar (from the above with Peter Lieberson, composer) Munich Biennale premiere with, Emmanuel Ax, Yo Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, Omar Ebrahim, et al (Sony Classical)
  • Ashoka’s Dream (Peter Lieberson, composer) premiered July ’97 at Santa Fe Opera (G. Schirmer)
  • Gesar (Shambhala Theater Collective) performed 2002
  • From The Golden Dot (from text by CTMukpo, Shambhala Theater Collective) performed 2003
  • L’Histoire du Soldat (from text by CF Ramuz, Boulder Chamber Players 2004)
  • The Vermilion Stage (radio play for KGNU Boulder/Denver: T.T. Lenk Producer, 2005)
  • Installation Piece (w/Joan Anderson 2006)
  • The Play of the Senses (Shambhala Theater Collective 2007)
  • Soldier Cry (w/Joan Anderson- Naropa University)
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead:Live Asia Society workshop/ music: Phillip Glass (2007)
  • Gesar Awake (Shambhala Theater Collective 2008)
  • Luminous Emptiness (Naropa University Theater 2009)
  • Soldier Cry with Deborah Marshall (Taos Studios- 2010)
  • For Scheherazade Boulder Symphony (Denver/ Boulder 2011)


  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead (English language version) for NHK Japan/ National Film Board of Canada: a two part series. Prize winner at Banff Film Festival.
  • King Gesar for Bravo! Network (Lesley Ann Paten, Prod.)


  • Short fiction, poetry and prose :
  • Porte Des Singes (Paris); Windhorse, Bombay Gin, The Widener Review, Parabola, The Shambhala Sun, Pure Vision (Melbourne,Australia),Cahier de L’Herne (Paris)