Rupert
Arrowsmith

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RUPERT ARROWSMITH is an author, cultural historian, and poet who currently resides in Rangoon, Myanmar.  He is an honorary fellow of University College London and a trustee of the Irrawaddy Literary Festival, and has previously held fellowships at the London University School of Advanced Study and at Princeton.


The son of a navy captain, he was brought up in the Seychelles, Kenya, and Cornwall in the southwest of England, and has spent most of his adult life living and working in Asia. He was largely home-schooled, and is a doctoral alumnus of Christ Church college of the University of Oxford.  He is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles on the cultural relationship between Asia and Europe, and specializes in the historical transmission of ideas about visual art and literature, particularly during the first half of the twentieth century.


Arrowsmith was invited to Bhutan in 2015 to read his poem about the history of Buddhism, 'The Way to Bhutan', at the opening of the annual national literature festival (see writing), and to present a copy of it to the Royal Queen Mother.  The poem was first published in the global literature magazine Wasafiri.


Arrowsmith is a practicing Buddhist, and has twice been ordained as a monk in Myanmar. His second ordination, in 2013, was covered for television by USA Today, and he later wrote about his monastic experiences for CNN.


He is currently working on a new book about Myanmar, to be completed this year.

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