Gary Snyder


Born: 8 May 1930
Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Best known as: Pulitzer-winning Beat poet who wrote Turtle Island
Poet Gary Snyder made his fame as an associate of the Beat Generation, set apart by his years in Japan (1956-68) and his involvement in Zen Buddhism. He grew up on the West Coast and went to school at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and in Berkeley, California, a student of anthropology and Asian languages. Like Allen Ginsberg, Snyder was part of San Francisco's poetry scene in the late 1950s. When he returned from Japan he settled in California as a teacher, poet, essayist and sometime laborer. He's known for a direct style with themes of nature and spiritualism, and his 1974 collection, Turtle Island, received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. His poetry collections include RipRap (1959), Regarding Wave (1970) and No Nature (1992).
Extra credit: Snyder is said to be the model for the character Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums.

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