Stephen W.F. Berwick
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About the Author
Stephen Berwick, a descendant of northern New England and Quebec’s Native American peoples as well as French and English settlers, was born in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1962. In his life and work Stephen strives to open minds and hearts, believing as Buddha did that "In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true." Stephen, who speaks Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and French and is also conversant in Swedish, Indonesian and Thai, has traveled widely throughout Northeast and Southeast Asia. A practicing Buddhist since 1981, Stephen underwent ordination as a Buddhist monk in 2004. His preceptor, the Venerable Luang Po Chan Kusalo, one of Thailand’s foremost theologians, consented to Stephen’s ordination only after considerable persuasion, allowing him to become the first Westerner in 600 years to ordain at Chiangmai’s Wat Chedi Luang, a temple famous as the former home of the Emerald Buddha. Upon returning to New Hampshire Stephen began publishing Asia‐Link Journal with the goal of promoting cultural understanding, respect and peace. Stephen also wrote a biography about a Korean‐American woman entitled From Ch’ongnyangni to Northfield which was published by the Korean Cultural Service as well as two biographies about Vietnamese refugees, which were published as part of the anthology Voices of the Vietnamese Boat People. Stephen has received a number of awards for his poetry and was named International Poet of Merit in 1995 by the International Poetry Association as well as nominated as the Association’s 1995 Poet of the Year for his poem "Exile," a poem that embodies the spirit of America’s immigrants. Stephen is currently working on a series of historical fiction novels, as well as short stories and poetry books, based on historical events as a guide to the world of the Penagok (Penacook) Chief Passaconaway and his descendants to explore the land the Abenaki call "N’dakinna" – "My Land." In February 2011 Stephen’s first book "Land of the Shapeshifter" was published. In April 2011 Shapeshifter’s Peace – Passaconaway’s Path to Peace was published, the first of his planned seven historical fiction books about the effects of European settlement on the Abenaki peoples of New Hampshire. In July 2011 In the Shadow of Agiocochook – Stories from the Land of the Shapeshifter was published and followed, in February 2012, by his second historical fiction novel Shapeshifted Peace – "Passaconaway’s Pacification of Settlers.