Gary Snyder and "Riprap" book give-away
Snyder photo by Christian Martin, Bellingham 2006.
If you know anything about Gary Snyder, then you can understand why we here at North Cascades Institute are incredibly excited about his forthcoming visit to Seattle on May 27. Strands of Snyder are interwoven in to the Institute, our mission, our staff and our North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, and his poetry and worldview have an almost totemic presence in our work.Â The 50 years of poetry, interviews and essays that Snyder has produced has educated, inspired and illuminated many of us in many different ways. Some of us came out west after reading one of his books on the mountains and trails of our region. Others have been impacted by his writing about community, culture, watersheds, ecology and sustainability — concepts he was exploring decades before they became influential buzzwords in our society. I know of people that have become fire lookouts or trail workers, poets or environmental educators, Buddhists or off-the-grid pioneers in part because of the example Snyder set in both his lifestyle and his writing.
Has Gary Snyder likewise inspired or informed you in some way? Has a particular poem crystalized some thought or feeling for you? Did one of his essays change the way you look at the world ? Which of his writings have impacted you and why?
We’re curious and hope you’ll share your Snyder story with us. Everybody who responds to this post with a germaine comment will be eligible to receive a free copy of Snyder’s book Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, a compendium of mountain poetry that is turning 50 years old this year. I’ll give folks a week to respond and then randomly pick three lucky winners, announcing them in the comments early next week.
Tickets for Snyder’s special May 27 presentation at Benaroya Hall are available now through Seattle Arts & Lectures. North Cascades Institute will be there in force, for all of our different personal reasons, so stop by our exhibit in the lobby to say hello!
Finally, if you can’t make it to Seattle to hear Snyder read, the Institute has a number of adult programs this summer related to Snyder, his time spent as a fire lookout-poet in the North Cascades and his “Beats on the Peaks” brethren like Jack Kerouac and Phillip Whalen: Ross Lake by Boat and Boot, July 9-12; 11th Annual Thunder Arm Writing Retreat with Rick Bass, Kathleen Dean Moore, Holly Hughes and Jim Bertolino, July 30-August 2; Beats on the Peaks: Lookout Poets and Backcountry Tales, August 13-16; and the Sourdough Mountain Celebration with Tim McNulty, Ron Dart and Jeff Muse, August 27-30.