Known as a poet, essayist, lecturer and environmental activist, Gary Snyder graduated from Reed in 1951 with a dual degree in anthropology and literature. He went on to attend Indiana University where he pursued anthropology, ultimately deciding to study Asian culture and languages at University of California at Berkeley. After rigorous study in Kyoto, Japan, Snyder formally became a Buddhist in 1955.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, he is often referred to as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology” because his work reflects his connection to nature and the spiritual. Starting from early childhood in the Pacific Northwest, he has had a profound appreciation of the outdoors, in particular mountain climbing.
Snyder is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 1974 book, Turtle Island.
OPB's Oregon Experience interviewed Snyder at his northern California home, Kitkidizze. At the end of the interview, Snyder offered up this poem, "What Have I Learned?"
© 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.