Trent Walker specializes in Southeast Asian Buddhist music, literature, and manuscripts, and has published widely on Khmer, Lao, Pali, Thai, and Vietnamese Buddhist texts and recitation practices. He is the author of Until Nirvana’s Time: Buddhist Songs from Cambodia (Shambhala Publications, 2022), the first collection of traditional Cambodian Buddhist literature to appear in English. He is also the co-editor of a major anthology of Khmer literature, Out of the Shadows of Angkor: Cambodian Poetry, Prose, and Performance through the Ages (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2022), and his literary translations of Southeast Asian songs, narrative poems, and stone inscriptions have appeared in Words Without Borders, The Margins, and other venues.
After completing a BA in Religious Studies at Stanford (’10) and a PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, he was the Khyentse Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. His current book project, tentatively titled “Classical Reading, Vernacular Writing: A Bitextual History of Southeast Asian Buddhism, 1450–1850,” argues that a distinct mode of translation was the core intellectual and literary activity in early modern Theravāda Buddhist cultures.
Trent served as Director of Preservation and Lead Scholar for the Khmer Manuscript Heritage Project, an initiative of the Buddhist Digital Resource Center to digitize over 1.5 million pages of palm-leaf texts in Khmer, Pali, and Siamese from Cambodian libraries and rural monasteries. A regular speaker at temples, retreat centers, and universities, he is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies and a Lecturer in Religious Studies at Stanford University. Recent publications include articles on bilingual Pali-Khmer sermons, Thai literary history, and translation techniques in southern Vietnam. He shares his work at www.trentwalker.org.