Stonehouse was born in 1272 in Changshu, and took his name form a cave at the edge of town. During his lifetime, he became a highly respected Dharma Master in the Zen Buddhist Tradition. It was not until later life that he composed his poetry in seclusion on the mountainside of Hsiamushan. Since then his poems have remained mostly unknown in even his home country of China. Stonehouse appeared in a few anthologies throughout the centuries, but it was not until being translated into English that his poems began to receive the recognition that they deserve.
Bill Porter assumes the pen name Red Pine for his translation work. He was born in Los Angeles in 1943, grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, graduated from the University of California with a degree in anthropology, and attended graduate school at Columbia University. Uninspired by the prospect of an academic career, he dropped out of Columbia and moved 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 interviewed local dignitaries and produced more than a thousand programs about his travels in China.
Red Pine's published translations include The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain, for which he was awarded the WESTAF Award in Translation; Poems of the Masters; In Such Hard Times, which recieved the 2010 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize; The Poetry of Wei Ying-wu; Lao-tzu's Taoteching; The Zen Works of Stonehouse (Shih-wu); Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-jen, for which he was awarded a PEN West translation prize; and The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma. He is also the author of Zen Baggage and Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington.