Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
October 4, 1996
Poet Gary Snyder To Read at the Library of Congress
On Thursday evening, October 24, Gary Snyder will read from his work in the Montpelier room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, which is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittal Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are not required.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder is the author of 16 books of poetry and prose. His first collection, Riprap, appeared in 1959; his book Turtle Island (1974) received the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and his collection No Nature: New and Selected Poems was published by Pantheon Books in 1993. Two new collections have just appeared from Counterpoint Press: a book of poems, Mountains and Rivers Without End (1996); and A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds: New and Selected Prose (1996). He received his B.A. degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where he majored in literature and in anthropology. He underwent graduate study in linguistics at Indiana University and in Oriental languages at the University of California at Berkeley. He later traveled to Kyoto, where he worked as a researcher and translator of Buddhist texts. During his 12 years in Japan, Mr. Snyder traveled to India with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Joanne Kyger, where they met with the Dalai Lama. For the last 20 years Mr. Snyder has been living in the northern Sierra Nevada on the edge of the Tahoe National Forest. He is on the faculty of the University of California at Davis and is an active participant in his local watershed council.
Gary Snyder's poems reflect his longtime practice of Zen Buddhism, offering a clarity of vision that make them accessible to his diverse readers. His work speaks of his concerns about bioregionalism, ecology, and the effect of mankind on the environment. A Los Angeles Times Book Review essay describes him as "the master of lucid meditation. His sense of the history of land and cultures and his ability to write as both the Worker and the Thinker creates a fertile whole." Gary Snyder, writes poet Robert Creeley, "has maintained a bedrock sanity and art for the benefit of all our mutual lives, generously, specifically, constantly. If poetry means anything, and it does, he has made that point for all of us again and again and again."
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