Sunday, May 8, 2022

May 8: Gary Snyder, American poet


Gary Snyder (1930 - ) is an American man of letters best known as a Beat-type poet, but also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist (see his "Smokey the Bear Sutra"). He won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1974 book Turtle Island, poems and essays on Snyder's vision for humans to live in harmony with the earth and all its creatures. ("Turtle Island" is a name for the continent of North America used by many Native American tribes.) He is also a translator of Buddhist literature from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese; a long-time Buddhist with strong connections to Japan, he was the inspiration for the character "Japhy Ryder" in Jack Kerouac's novel The Dharma Bums. He is now professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Davis, where he began teaching writing in 1986.


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