Gary Snyder: Still startling after all these years

Gary Snyder appeared last week at the Central Library in Los Angeles, as part of a tribute to his late friend Lew Welch. Snyder was in top form, about as focused and hard-hitting and charming as any man standing at a lectern could hope to be. We all should be so smart at eighty. OrContinue reading “Gary Snyder: Still startling after all these years”

Camping in Manhattan

Via a photographer named Matthew Jensen, a site/exhibition called Nowhere in Manhattan includes pictures of verdant, lonely camping spots in and around one of the most populated lands on the planet.   Reminds me of seeing the poet Gary Snyder a few years back, at a reading in Santa Monica of his collection No Nature,Continue reading “Camping in Manhattan”

Nothing is More Conservative

In l990, Gary Snyder dedicated a new library at UC Davis with a magnificent speech, perhaps the single most eloquent “environmental” speech I’ve ever heard or read.  In it he gave us the library as a watershed, of things and thoughts, and found its commonality with the land on which it stands. It’s called “TheContinue reading “Nothing is More Conservative”

Then (by Gary Snyder)

April was poetry month. I didn’t take enough advantage. Here’s one for May. From Gary Snyder, and his book of uncollected poems called Left Out in the Rain: New Poems 1947-l985 THEN When everybody in the world has a carand nobody knows the smellpeople will be amazed at our carpentryall the deer in zoosthey’ll rememberContinue reading “Then (by Gary Snyder)”

The Ultimate Working Class

Gary Snyder just published a surprisingly charming book of essays called Back on the Fire. (I’d link to the excellent review by Thomas Curwen in the LATimes, but their freaking search engine can’t find it.) Anyhow! In a characteristically tough-minded essay called "Writers and the War Against Nature," Snyder articulates a thought yours truly hasContinue reading “The Ultimate Working Class”