Gary Snyder


born May 8, 1930

Beat Generation Writer

Gary Snyder was one of the six poets who read at the historic Six Gallery Reading in San Francisco on October 7, 1955. He read the poem "A Berry Feast."

Born in San Francisco and raised in the northwest, he went to Reed College where he roomed with two other members of the West Coast Beat Generation vortex, Phillip Whalen and Lew Welch. After college and while living in Berkeley he began a life-long study of Buddhism. Later, Snyder would move to Japan.

Snyder first came across the term "Beat Generation" when, while sitting in a dentist's chair in San Francisco, he read "Jazz of the Beat Generation" by Jack Kerouac in New World Writing No. 7 in 1955. His association with the New York contigent of the Beat Generation began shortly after when he met Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac through Kenneth Rexroth in San Francisco.

Much of Kerouac's novel Dharma Bums was inspired by the friendly relationship that developed between the two men. In that novel, Snyder appears as the character Japhy Ryder. Snyder's interest and knoweldge of Buddhism had a significant influence on Kerouac's study of that religion.

Snyder's first book of poetry, Riprap was published in 1959 and he has published many volumes since. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work entitled Turtle Island.

Gary Snyder

Pitching Record YEAR TEAM ERA W L IP ER BB K 1983 Beats 3.99 9 11 167 74 82 65 1984 Beats 3.09 7 4 67 23 27 59 1985 Beats 3.74 5 2 171 71 47 100 1987 Beats 3.37 2 9 115 43 56 3 1991 Beats 2.50 14 8 219 61 77 124 1992 Beats 3.47 12 14 204 79 69 123 1993 Beats 2.64 15 9 211 62 67 123 1994 Beats 3.39 14 14 207 78 86 122 1995 Beats 5.12 4 4 102 58 37 67 9 Seasons 3.38 82 75 1463 549 548 786

Short Gary Snyder Bio

Gary Snyder at Literary Kicks

Talking with Jack [Kerouac] was like being in a handball court where you were playing with two or three balls at the same time, and the pleasure of it was actually playing the game and knowing that there were several balls always going around the room and coming back to each one of them, more or less, in the appropriate way as they bounce about. I guess that's where that image "off the wall" comes from. So it's delightful. Conversation with Jack was always, strictly speaking, poetical. It was full of imaginative, intuitive and unpredictable jumps, which made excellent sense if your minds are together and you're talking in the same way. Jack's mind and my mind were often together, and we could talk that way for hours. It wasn't just games, it was very strong, creative, exciting kind of communication, which I have with a few other people in the world, but not too many. If for no other reason, I would say because of that particular quality of Jack's, he was a real poet. His ind worked in an amazing, fast, unpredictable, but appropriate way.
--Gary Snyder
Source: Jack's Book. Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee.

1997 Dharma Beats Roster

1997 Gary Snyder Cosmic Player Plate
Published: December 24, 1996

© 1996, 1997 by the Cosmic Baseball Association