About the Author

Tenzin Tsundue

Tenzin Tsundue is a restless young Tibetan who, after graduating from Madras, South India, braved snowstorms and treacherous mountains, broke all rules and restrictions, crossed the Himalayas on foot and went into forbidden Tibet! The purpose? To see the situation of his occupied country and lend a hand to the freedom struggle. Arrested by China’s border police, and locked up in prison in Lhasa for three months, he was later ‘pushed back’ to India.

Born to a Tibetan refugee family who laboured on India’s border roads around Manali, North India, during the chaotic era of Tibetan refugee resettlement in the early seventies, Tenzin Tsundue is a writer-activist, a rare blend in the Tibetan community in exile. He published his first book of poems, Crossing the Border, in 1999 with money begged and borrowed from his classmates at Bombay University. In 2001 he won the ‘Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction’. His second book, Kora, is already in its eighth edition, and his third title, Semshook, is in its third edition. This the third edition Tsen-GÖl, first published in March 2012.

Tsundue joined Friends of Tibet (India) in 1999 and campaigns among Indians to win support for Tibet. In January 2002, while Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji was addressing Indian business tycoons in Mumbai’s Oberoi Towers, Tsundue scaled scaffolding to the 14th floor to unfurl a Tibetan national flag and a FREE TIBET banner. In April 2005 he repeated a similar stunning one-man protest when Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was visiting Bangalore. Because of these daring protest actions, Tsundue is often detained and is under police surveillance whenever Chinese leaders visit India.

Tenzin Tsundue’s writings have been published in Indian newspapers and magazines and also in the international media. He is also anthologized in Asian and International literary journals.

As a poet, he represented Tibet in Sahitya Akademi’s Second South Asian Literary Conference in New Delhi in January 2005, during Poetry Africa in Durban, 2005, and at Jaipur Literature Festival 2010. Both as an activist and a writer, Tsundue fights tooth and nail for the freedom of his country and plays an important role in the Tibetan political struggle. His writings are also published online at FriendsofTibet.org/tenzin and TibetWrites.in/authors/tenzin-tsundue

Versions of Tsundue’s website are archived for history at WayBack Machine Internet Archive.

3 thoughts on “About the Author”

  1. Dear Tenzin Tsundue,
    I’m a photography and illustration student from Bangalore and I’m currently working on a children’s storybook focussing on the Tibetan culture.
    I have read your poems and essays and can see how passionate you are about the written word.
    I wanted to write to you to ask if you would like to broaden your outreach to children story books as well?
    Best Regards,

  2. Dear Ms Tamminen,

    Warm greetings from Katha!
    Katha is a nonprofit organization in India that has been working since 1988 in the literacy to literature continuum — in the areas of education of children in poverty, teacher training, and book publishing. Our website: http://www.katha.org
    Over the last 25 years, our education model, based on decades of working with children from underserved communities, delivers a unique and innovative StoryPedagogy©. It has helped lakhs of first generation schoolgoers in India to enjoy reading, and learning sustainably. Our innovative education model works today to enhance the joy of reading for more than 1. 50,000 children in corporation/government schools and about 250 slum communities.
    Katha is also known as a small, independent reputed publisher of stories and poems translated from the many Indian languages into Hindi and English, for children. Our distinctive, beautifully designed, child-friendly books have won us, both a loyal readership of young child readers, and some hard-earned recognition from our peers.
    This year, we at Katha are working to bring an ambitious new programme into Indian schools: an English Language Textbook series for classes 1 to 8 — choosing stories and poems, in English and in translation that encourage children to believe in themselves and relate to the world around them. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has kindly agreed to partner with us in this innovative project by helping us distribute the series in schools following Indian school curricula.
    For this series, we seek your kind permission to include your poem “Crossing the Border.”
    The works are to be used in Indian curricula schools, and as part of this textbook series only.
    We’d be grateful if you’d give us permission to do so and we most eagerly look forward to hearing from you 🙂


    K Dharmarajan
    Principal Volunteer
    Mob: +91 93 50 70 44 14
    Email: [email protected]

  3. Tashi Delek, Tenzin Tsundue la

    I’m filming a documentary about Exile-Tibetans and the struggle for freedom and was wondering if you might have time for an inteview in McLeod Ganj on 20th, 21st or 22nd of April.
    I would be very happy to be able to have you in the movie as I appreciate your works a lot.

    Thank you very much for taking time to read this and responding to it

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Tenzin Tsundue writes, speaks, and acts for a Free Tibet