Back on the Fire: Essays

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Counterpoint, Mar 1, 2009 - Nature - 176 pages
1 Review
This collection of essays by Gary Snyder, now in paperback, blazes with insight. In his most autobiographical writing to date, Snyder employs fire as a metaphor for the crucial moment when deeply held viewpoints yield to new experiences, and our spirits and minds broaden and mature. Snyder here writes and riffs on a wide range of topics, from our sense of place and a need to review forestry practices, to the writing life and Eastern thought. Surveying the current wisdom that fires are in some cases necessary for ecosystems of the wild, he contemplates the evolution of his view on the practice, while exploring its larger repercussions on our perceptions of nature and the great landscapes of the West. These pieces include recollections of his boyhood, his involvement with the literary community of the Bay Area, his travels to Japan, as well as his thoughts on American culture today. All maintain Snyder's reputation as an intellect to be reckoned with, while often revealing him at his most emotionally vulnerable. The final impression is holistic: We perceive not a collection of essays, but a cohesive presentation of Snyder's life and work expressed in his characteristically straightforward prose.

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User Review  - rmckeown - LibraryThing

A few years ago, I met Gary Snyder at an event at Baylor. I had read some of his poetry, and I was in awe of all those I read. A friend passed along a copy of his volume of essays, Back on the Fire ... Read full review

Back on the Fire: Essays

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This essay collection by Pulitzer Prize winner Snyder (A Place in Space ) contains the latest thoughts of a great poet with a lifelong devotion to the world, humanity, and literature. Snyder discusses ... Read full review



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About the author (2009)

Gary Snyder is the author of sixteen collections of poetry and prose. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992 and 2005, he has been awarded the Bollinger Poetry Prize, the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2004 Japanese Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Grand Prize. He has lived in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada since 1970.

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