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Stephen mitchell

Stephen Mitchell. Courtesy Scott London.

Stephen Mitchell (born 1943)[1] is an American poet, translator, scholar, and anthologist.


Youth and educationEdit

Mitchell was born in Brooklyn, New York City.[1] He was educated at Poly Prep Country Day School, Amherst College, the University of Paris, and Yale University.

Private lifeEdit

He is married to author Byron Katie. They live in Ojai, California.


Mitchell’s Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke has been called “the most beautiful group of poetic translations the twentieth century has produced.” William Arrowsmith said that his Sonnets to Orpheus “instantly makes every other rendering obsolete.” His Book of Job has been called “magnificent.” His bestselling Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, and Gilgamesh — which are not translations from the original text, but rather poetic interpretations that use existing translations into Western languages as their starting point — have also been highly praised by critics, scholars, and common readers.

He has also written a book of poems, Parables and Portraits, and 2 books of fiction, Meetings with the Archangel and The Frog Prince.

His books for young readers include The Wishing Bone, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award as the best book of poetry for children published in the United States in 2003. Jesus: What He Really Said and Did was chosen by the American Library Association's Booklist as one of the top ten religious books for children in 2002. His rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale was chosen a Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2002, New York Public Library Children's Books: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, New England Book Show-Juvenile Category Winner, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner, and The National Council of Teachers of English 2002 Notable Children's Books.

He is co-author of 2 of his wife Byron Katie’s bestselling books: Loving What Is and A Thousand Names for Joy.

He has published a new verse translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.


Gilgamesh was Editor's Choice of The New York Times Book Review, was selected as the Book Sense 2004 Highlight for Poetry, was a finalist for the first annual Quill Award in poetry, and was also featured as a holiday recommendation on NPR’s "All Things Considered".

Mitchell is a 2-time winner of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets.




  • Meetings with the Archangel: A comedy of the spirit. New York: Harper Flamingo, 1998; London: HarperCollins, 1999. ISBN 0-06-018245-8
  • The Frog Prince: A fairy tale for consenting adults. New York: Harmony Books, 1999. ISBN 0-60-960545-3


  • Jo Mora: Renaissance man of the west. Ketchum, ID: Dober Hill, 1994.
  • Loving What Is: Four questions that can change your life (with Byron Katie). New York: Harmony Books, 2002. ISBN 1-400-04537-1
  • A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in harmony with the way things are (with Byron Katie), Harmony Books, 2007, ISBN 0-307-33923-8


  • The Wishing Bone, and other poems (illustrated by Tom Pohrt). London: Walker, 2003; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2003. ISBN 0-76-361118-2
  • Jesus: What He Really Said and Did. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. ISBN 0-06-449009-2
  • The Creation (illustrated by Ori Sherman). New York: Dial Books, 1990, ISBN 0-80-370618-9


  • Into the Whirlwind: A translation of the Book of Job. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1979.
    • also published as The Book of Job. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1987; London: K. Cathie, 1989.
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Selected Poetry. New York: Random House, 1982. ISBN 0-39-452434-9
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. New York: Random House, 1983. ISBN 0-67-973245-4
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, Letter to a Young Poet (translated with Franz Xaver Kappus). New York: Random House, 1984. ISBN 0-39-474104-8
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Sonnets to Orpheus. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985. ISBN 0-67-155708-4
  • Rainer Maria Rilke, The Lay of the Love and Death of Cornet Christoph Rilke. Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1985, ISBN 0-91-045702-6
  • Yehuda Amichai, The Selected Poetry (translated with Chana Bloch). New York: Harper & Row, 1986
  • Dan Pagis, Variable Directions: The selected poetry. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1989
    • revised & expanded as The Selected Poetry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996. ISBN 0-52-020539-1
  • A Book of Psalms: Selected and adapted from the Hebrew. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0-06-092470-5
  • Tao Te Ching: A new English version.New York: Harper & Row, 1988, ISBN 0-06-016001-2
  • The Gospel According to Jesus: A new translation and guide to his essential teachings for believers and unbelievers. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. ISBN 0-060-92321-0
  • Genesis: A new translation of the classic Biblical stories. New York: HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN 0-06-092856-5
  • Pablo Neruda, Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected poems. New York: HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0-06-018285-7
  • Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching (with James A. Autry). New York: Riverhead Books, 1998. ISBN 1-57-322089-2; London: Nicholas Brealey, 1999.
  • Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation.New York: Harmony Books, 2000; London: Rider, 2000 ISBN 0-60-981034-0
  • Gilgamesh: A new English version. London: Profile, 2004; New York: Free Press, 2004. ISBN 0-74-326169-0
  • The Second Book of the Tao: Compiled and adapted from the Chuang-tzu and the Chung yung, with commentaries. New York: Penguin, 2009. ISBN 1-59-420203-2


  • Hans Christian Andersen, The Nightingale (illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline). London: Walker, 2002; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2002. ISBN 0-76-361521-8
  • Hans Christian Andersen, The Tinderbox (illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline). London: Walker, 2007; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2007. ISBN 0-76-362078-5
  • Wilhelm & Jacob Grimm, Iron Hans: A Grimms’ fairy tale (illustrated by Matt Tavares). London: Walker, 2007; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2007. ISBN 0-76-362160-9
  • Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings: Three tales from the Arabian Nights (illustrated by Tom Pohrt). New York: Walker, 2007. ISBN 0-80-279639-7
  • Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling (illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher). London: Walker, 2008; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2008. ISBN 978-0763621599


  • The Enlightened Heart: An anthology of sacred poetry. New York: Harper, 1989. ISBN 0-06-092053-X
  • The Enlightened Mind: An anthology of sacred prose. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. ISBN 0-06-092320-2
  • Into the Garden: A wedding anthology (with Robert Hass). New York: HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0-06-016919-2
  • Bestiary: An anthology of poems about animals. Berkeley, CA: Frog, 1996. ISBN 1-88-331948-X
  • Question Your Thinking, Change the World: Quotations from Byron Katie. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2007. ISBN 1-40-191730-2
  • The Essence of Wisdom: Words from the masters to illuminate the spiritual path. New York: Broadway Books, 1998. ISBN 0-76-790305-6


  • Tao te ching journal. London: Frances Lincoln, 2000.
"Psalm 1," translated by Stephen Mitchell

"Psalm 1," translated by Stephen Mitchell

<small)Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[2]

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 "It's Not All Greek to Him". The Wall Street Journal. September 20, 2011. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  2. Search results = au:Stephen Mitchell, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 19, 2014.

External linksEdit

  • "Autumn Day" by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Mitchell)
Audio / video
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