Gary Snyder * 5.27.09 * Benaroya Hall, Seattle

Gary Snyder visited Seattle in May 2009 at the invite of Seattle Arts & Lectures and North Cascades Institute (my daytime employer). Without any new collection of poetry or essays to promote, Snyder read from a variety of books, notes and a letters in a warm, intimate presentation at Benaroya Hall. Asked by the Institute to speak a bit about his time as a fire lookout in the North Cascades in the mid-1950s, Snyder reminisced and read several poems written during that time period, including "Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout" and "The Late Snow and Lumber Strike of the Summer of Fifty-four" -- two of my favorites.

Snyder also discusses the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, his Wobbly grandfather soapboxing in Pioneer Square, learning how to cut wood on a stump farm north of Seattle and Finnish anarchist newspapers published near the mouth of the Columbia River in this very special appearance on his home ground of western Washington State. Another podcast will be released in the near future with the question & answers & conversation he partook in after this reading.

More Gary Snyder, along with Jack Kerouac and Edward Abbey, at Feedback:

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Photos by me, copyright 2009.