Centrum Presents

Dancing with the Dead: Red Pine and the Art of Translation (Film) JuneJun 15 2024 02:00pm - 06:30pm


Join us for a special literary, cultural and cinema event. A master of ancient Chinese poetry and the search for a lost tradition. Filmmaker Ward Serrill and Producer Rocky Friedman tell the adventurous and entertaining adventures of Bill Porter (Red Pine), a world-renowned translator of ancient Chinese poetry, who ignited a movement in China to seek inner peace through poetry and mountain solitude. Bill is a living bridge between two cultures, a bridge that is supported by ancient poetry and understanding.


Join  Red Pine, Claudia Castro Luna, Ward Serrill and guests for:

  • Screening of the film
  • Q & A with Director Ward Serrill
  • Performance by singer Spring Cheng
  • Conversation with Red Pine — Moderated by former Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna
  • Book signing by Red Pine follows


A Co-Presentation with Centrum, Copper Canyon Press and the Port Townsend Film Festival.

Click Here for Tickets





About the Film


Filmmaker Ward Serrill (The Heart of the Game; The Bowmakers) presents DANCING WITH THE DEAD, on Port Townsend’s Bill Porter. Porter, who goes by the pen name Red Pine, is a renowned translator of ancient Chinese poetry. He has published over thirty books, including Road to Heaven, his quest to find hermits in the Zhongnan Mountains that reignited a movement in modern China to seek enlightenment through poetry and mountain solitude. Bill is a living gateway to ancient Chinese history and culture.


The film follows Bill’s adventures as a child of a bank robber, raised in a gilded household, who turned his back on American devotion to materialism and went off to live in monasteries and mountains in Taiwan. He pursued a fascination with Buddhism and poetry and traveled to remote regions of China to rediscover an ancient tradition of mountain hermits vital to Chinese culture.



“Inside China, he’s a source of endless fascination, because here’s a Westerner who really gets it, who really understands China, who clearly loves Chinese culture, who’s devoted his life to it.”

—Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Dancing with the Dead: Red Pine and the Art of Translation (Film) JuneJun 15 2024 02:00pm - 06:30pm
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