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“The appropriate way to do anything is thoughtfully and gracefully—and with as much soul as you can pull around you.”

–Rina Swentzell

Gary Snyder

gary_snyder_lr2Gary Snyder is a poet, author, scholar, cultural critic, and Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Davis. He graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1951. After graduate study in Linguistics at Indiana University he entered Graduate School at U.C. Berkeley in the Department of East Asian Languages. He studied Chinese poetry with Chen Shih-hsiang and did his Han-shan translations then. In the Bay Area Snyder associated with Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Philip Whalen, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and others who were part of the remarkable flowering of west coast poetry during the fifties. In 1956 he moved to Kyoto Japan to study Zen Buddhism and East Asian culture.
For the last thirty-eight years he has been living in the northern Sierra Nevada. He has divided his time between environmental and cultural issues with a focus on the Sierra Nevada ecosystem, and teaching with a focus on creative writing, ethnopoetics, and bioregional praxis at the university.
He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His book, Turtle Island won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1975, and his book of selected poems No Nature was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992. Mountains and Rivers Without End (a book-length poem) won the Bollingen Prize for poetry in 1997. In 2004 he was awarded the “Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Grand Prize” in Japan. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He has two sons and two stepdaughters.