Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

About Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder is an american poet and academic writer. He is the author of many books of poetry and is also known as a critic and environmental activist. He has been described as the poet laureate of Deep Ecology. Gary Snyder is a winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the American Book Award. His work, in his various roles, reflects an immersion in both Buddhist spirituality and nature. Snyder has translated literature into English from ancient Chinese and modern Japanese and was an academic at the University of California.
He is widely regarded as a member of the Beat Generation circle of writers: he was one of the poets that read at the famous Six Gallery event, and was written about in one of Kerouac's most popular novels, The Dharma Bums. In the mid-1950s Snyder was a vigorous participant in the countercultural poetry scene in San Francisco, which came to be popularized (and homogenized) as the beat movement. He subsequently attempted to distance himself from the label Beat, noting in his essay North Beach (collected in The Old Ways: Six Essays, 1977) that: this emphasis often neglected the deeply dug-in and committed thinkers and artists of the era who never got or needed much mediafame. His persona as a beat is based largely on his appearance as the protagonist Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums. Despite its mythic dimensions, Kerouac's portrait of Snyder is accurate in some respects: Snyder -was, as the novel pronounces him to be, a woods boy, an axman, farmer, interested in animals and Indian lore so that when he finally got to college ... he was already well equipped for his early studies in anthropology and later in Indian myth.
Although at times reticent about his beat past, Snyder freely acknowledges his role in the San Francisco renaissance—a period in which artists expressed their disaffection with the materialism of the dominant culture by rejecting traditional poetic forms and themes.

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