Gary Snyder to receive ‘Thoreau Prize’

The RoostThe great American poet and essayist Gary Snyder will be in Cambridge tomorrow night, Tuesday, April 10, to receive the Henry David Thoreau Prize for “literary excellence in nature writing” (now there’s an understatement) from PEN New England. You’ll find the details online here.  (The Poetry Foundation has a selection of Snyder’s poems and a few recordings online, which I recommend to the uninitiated.)

I’ll have more to say about Snyder and tomorrow night’s event in an upcoming post, but for now I’ll simply say that Snyder is a literary hero of mine. As I mentioned in a comment on my exchange with Paul Kingsnorth, Snyder’s engaged Zen Buddhism has great appeal to me (as a student of Zen myself). I see him as a profoundly unifying figure, bridging the divides between eco- and anthropo-centrism — and between withdrawal and engagement — that Kingsnorth and I represented in our “debate.”  Perhaps Snyder should be a reconciling model for us both.

Stay tuned. More on this to come later in the week.

Wen Stephenson

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