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Gary Snyder and the San Francisco Renaissance

            Gary Snyder and the San Francisco Renaissance.
             Gary Snyder was born on May 8, 1930 in San Francisco, California and is well known not only for his association with the Beat writers, but for his advocacy of community living and ecological concerns. He studied Native American anthropology at Reed College, linguistics at Indiana University, classical Chinese at the University of California at Berkeley, and Zen Buddhism in Japan. Gary was a teacher of English at the University of California, Davis. He helped launch the San Francisco renaissance and is considered a leader of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.
             Much of his writing demonstrates the influence of the respected American poets, Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound, as well as intimations of mysticism exemplified in Far Eastern forms. His poetry is known for its balance of stillness and exuberant energy and incorporates elements of shamanism, the natural world, and living and oral tradition that challenge many western values. His experiences as a logger and ranger in the Pacific Northwest were inspirations for his first two collections of poetry: Riprap (1959) and Myths and Texts (1960).
             Many of his later works focused on alternatives to city living and show a reverence for nature and a deep interest in the philosophies of the East. Snyder won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Turtle Island in 1975. In addition to the mentioned works, Snyder's other volumes include: The Black Country (1967), Regarding Wave (1969), Axe Handles (1983) The Old Ways (1977) and No Nature: New and Selected Poems (1992). .
             Beat generation refers to the men and women poets, writers, thinkers, and philosophers who emerged on the hip scene in the 1940s and ballooned into the San Francisco Renaissance and beyond. It describes how even though the original beats were few in number, many "movements" in literary history often happened when a cluster of a few writers, tied together by time more than space, uncovered a new path or road of writing style and content.

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