Horses Like Lightning: A Story of Passage Through the Himalayas (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2008)
“Many scholars have opened Himalayan cultures up to us with authority and learning, but few have traveled with the open heart and transparent sincerity of Sienna Craig. Horses Like Lightning is a singular dance of innocence and experience.”–Pico Iyer, author of Sun After Dark: Flights Into the Foreign
“Sienna Craig has a rare combination of gifts: she’s an insightful anthropologist, and writes beautifully. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to visit this part of the world, Dr. Craig illuminates its stark terrain and singular people (not to mention their horses) in a way that makes me feel I’m seeing it for the first time. But Horses Like Lightning is more than informative; it’s a terrific read. The narrative is funny, moving, and sometimes painfully honest — because this is a portrait not just of Nepal’s northern frontier, but of Dr. Craig herself. It’s a genuine pleasure to travel with this insightful scholar as she finds her balance in an alien culture and landscape. One quickly gains an appreciation for how the rapid pace of globalization is impacting individual lives in this former Himalayan kingdom — a process by no means transparent to trekkers, or other short-term visitors. Horses Like Lightning is a wonderful book. For anyone planning a visit to the Himalaya, it’s indispensable.”–Jeff Greenwald, author of Shopping for Buddha’s
Clear Sky, Red Earth: A Himalayan Story (Kathmandu: Mera Publications, 1st Edition 2004, 2nd Edition 2009)
Clear Sky, Red Earth: A Himalayan Story, written by Sienna Craig and illustrated by Tenzin Norbu, tells a story of life in Dolpo through the eyes of Namsel, a young girl who lived in dolpo several centuries ago, and who grows up to be a great painter. Tenzin Norbu comes from a long lineage of Dolpo painters. He is known for his illustrations in other children’s books including Himalaya (also a movie) and Secret of the Snow Leopard. A portion of the sale of this book goes to support grassroots development projects in the Himalaya.
I enjoy making my anthropological work accessible to popular audiences. My feature stories have been published in venues such as Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Shambhala Sun, Summit Magazine, and The Explorer’s Journal. As an example, here is a story I wrote about the outbreak of SARS IN TIBET . For recent OpEds and interviews, click here. For a complete list of my feature stories, please refer to my curriculum vitae.
Laurence Durrell once wrote, “A poem is what happens when an anxiety meets a technique.” It is true that poetry can give voice to the arc of lived experience – from suffering to joy, from injustice to compassion – with clarity and precision. Poetry allows me space to explore the world, to pay attention, to be awake through the rhythms of language. Some of my poetry emerges from ethnography. Other poems just come from being alive on this earth, whether I find myself in New England, Nepal, or countless places in between. I have collaborated on two artistic endeavors that include my poetry, A Sacred Geography: Sonnets of Tibetan and Himalayan Landscape, and Tse Go La: At the Threshold of this Life . For some recent poems, click here