Archives For Gary Snyder

“Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn’t organized to serve human health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals.”
– Ivan Illich, social critic,
who was born on this day, 1926

*** Watch this important lecture by Illich, “What Makes a City?”

Poem of the Day:
“The Uses of Light”
by Gary Snyder  [ Tweet this ]

Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
The Wisdom of Leopold Kohr
by Ivan Illich
Only $0.99!!!      [ Tweet this ]
One of the most significant E.F. Schumacher lectures, as today is not only Illich’s birthdate but also the anniversary of Schumacher’s death…

*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!

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The Wake Up Call – September 4, 2014


A Clear and Highly Developed Vision of a Better World

A Feature Review of

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters Of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder.

Hardback: Counterpoint, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Michelle E. Wilbert


In the affectionate introduction to this edifying collection of correspondence between novelist, poet, and cultural critic Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, the “Poet Laureate of Deep Ecology,” an essayist, activist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1974 for his book Turtle Island, editor Chad Wriglesworth relays the earliest articulation of the relationship between the two men, found in a short essay sent by Berry to Snyder after his returning home to Kentucky following his first visit to Snyder’s homestead in the San Juan Ridge area of southern California. While offering his observations on their various shared affinities and concerns – land, community, and the sense that “being native to a place” involves examining the questions that would lead to a commitment to arresting the “pattern of imposing human will upon the land” and to living within creaturely limits in conformity to the local ecology – he concluded his reveries by metaphorically extending his hand with the declaration, “We are neighbors—distant neighbors,” and thus began a friendship that has lasted more than 40 years and has been conducted largely through the somewhat lost art of epistolary.

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A great conversation between Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, on the occasion of their new book

Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder

Hardback: Counterpoint Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
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The Philosophy of the BeatsA Long, Strange Road Trip

Feature Review of

The Philosophy of the Beats

Edited by Sharin Elkholy

Hardback: University Press of Kentucky, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by R. Dean Hudgens.

With the release this summer of a film version of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (directed by the phenomenal Walter Salles), as well as the publication of the first issue of the The Beat Studies Journal (May 2012) we are apparently in the midst of a revival of interest in the so-called “beat generation”. Was there a “beat generation”? Allen Ginsberg said no, there was only a bunch of writers trying to get published. To Jack Kerouac the beat generation were those “who really know where we are.”

When one former Beat poet was told of a new book entitled The Philosophy of the Beats she asked “Did the Beats have a philosophy?” Well, yes, but only if the word “philosophy” is interpreted in the broad, non-technical sense utilized in this University Press of Kentucky series The Philosophy of Popular Culture (edited by Mark T Conard). As far as I can tell this is the only volume in that series of twenty-five that is not focused on film, television, or sports.

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A poem for Gary Snyder’s birthday

from his classic collection

Turtle Island: Poems.

Gary Snyder

Paperback: New Directions, 1974.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

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Stay Together. Learn the Flowers. Go Light

A review of
The Etiquette of Freedom.
By Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison.

Reviewed by R. Dean Hudgens.

The Etiquette of Freedom.
Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison.
Edited by Paul Ebenkamp.
Hardcover: Counterpoint, 2010.
Includes DVD “The Practice of the Wild”,
Directed by John J Healey.  San Simeon Films, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Etiquette of Freedom - Gary SnyderIf Gary Snyder is not yet an elder and guide for the readers of ERB he should be.  A new DVD “The Practice of the Wild” and the accompanying book The Etiquette of Freedom provide an ideal introduction for those as yet unacquainted with the work of this significant American author.  In this documentary Snyder, still physically and intellectually vigorous in his eighties, comes across as the same engaging and insightful personality that his readers have met in his poems and essays these past fifty years.

Snyder grew up in the Pacific northwest (born in 1930) immersed in the natural world that shaped his personality and vision. He learned from his leftist, politically active mother that society was a mess.  But Snyder wanted something more than a life of protest and organizing.  It seems he was initially attracted to Native American culture as a repository for a lost human wisdom that might address society’s ills. But a short stint at Reed College studying anthropology and an even briefer time at Indiana University studying linguistics convinced him that Buddhism was the path he was looking for.  East Asian history revealed at least the possibility of “being highly civilized and still respecting the nonhuman” (29).

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