Joseph Hlebica's Reviews > Back on the Fire: Essays

Back on the Fire by Gary Snyder
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Aug 26, 08

bookshelves: to-read
Recommended to Joseph by: Prof Emeritus Glen A Love, University of Oregon
Recommended for: Lovers of poetry, nature, Asian and Native American studies

I don't get how we're supposed to review a book we have not yet read, but I will recommend the author, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet/essayist Gary Snyder. Snyder has been described as the most significant of the former Beat Poets by more than a few scholars. Notably, when his cohort - which includes Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, and a host of others - went crazy for drugs, alcohol, and hedonism, Snyder went East, becoming an ordained Zen Buddhist monk. That explains not only his longevity and admirable mental/physical health, but the influences in his poetry. His mentor, Kenneth Rexroth, would be proud. Formerly Poet Laureate of the State of California, Snyder is on the faculty of the University of California, Davis, and has lived with his family on his farm in the Sierra foothills for a generation. His list of works outstrips all of the former beats put together, so why all the focus on that gang of dead druggies, when we still have Snyder alive and well and with us?
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