Involved in the Beat movement, Snyder read in the famous Six Gallery reading alongside Allen Ginsberg. In 1956, Snyder moved to Asia to study Zen Buddhism; on the span of a decade he traveled to a variety of states. In 1975, his collection Turtle Island won the Pulitzer Prize. After his parents’ divorce, Snyder moved along with his mom to Portland, Oregon, where he grew up on a farm. Snyder was enthralled with nature, especially mountaineering. At a very young age, he took interest in Indian culture, especially its link to the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
In 1947, Snyder received a scholarship to Reed College. There, he studied Asian culture; in addition, he delved to the relationship between an indigenous people as well as their land. He also worked many outside occupations that included physical work, including lumberjacking and making trails. He graduated in 1951, and after that spent a year studying anthropological linguistics at Indiana University before moving to San Francisco.
He also started to have his poetry printed. Other attendees in the well-known reading were Snyder’s buddies Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He’d reside abroad for over 10 years. Through the time he spent abroad, Snyder traveled widely, even taking an oil tanker to go to Istanbul, Turkey.
Snyder’s writing focuses on environmental issues and Zen Buddhism. He’s an environmental activist who’s famous for his straightforward, clear fashion, along with his first person descriptions of his experiences in the natural world. In 1975, his collection Turtle Island was given the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Snyder’s poetry is affected by Japanese haiku and Chinese verse, as well as his familiarity with anthropological variables like oral traditions. Over his long career, Snyder has composed more than 20 books of poetry and prose. His 1992 collection, No Nature, was a National Book Award finalist. He received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2008. His 1983 collection, Axe Handles, focuses on his job as a dad. Snyder taught creative writing in the University of California at Davis from 1986 until 2002, when he retired as a professor emeritus.