This monumental collection gathers the essays, travel journals, letters, poems, and translations of one of the most influential literary voices of the twentieth century.. This monumental collection gathers the essays, travel journals, letters, poems, and translations of one of the most influential literary voices of the twentieth century.Gary Snyder has been a major cultural force in America for five decades--prize-winning poet, environmental activist, Zen Buddhist, and reluctant counterculture guru. Having expanded far beyond the Beat poems that first brought his work into the public eye, Snyder has produced a broad-ranging body of work that encompasses his fluency in Eastern literature and culture, his commitment to the environment, and his concepts of humanitys place in the cosmos. The Gary Snyder Reader showcases the panoramic range of his literary vision in a single-volume survey that will appeal to students and general readers alike. Prose selections include letters to Lew Welch and Philip Whalen; journals from his travels to Saigon, Singapore, Kyoto, Ceylon, New Delhi, and Daramshala; meditations on Buddhism and the surrender of self; a cultural survey of communal living; and notes from the lookout tower on Sourdough Mountain, where Snyder once watched for forest fires. Also included are two long interviews with Snyder from East West Journal and The Paris Review .The Reader also gathers poems from each phase of Snyders long careerfrom his first collection, Riprap, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Turtle Island, through his recently completed poem cycle, Mountains and Rivers Without End. It also includes Snyders little-known translation of the great Long Bitter Song poem by Bai Juyi, the longest poem in the Chinese language. From freighter to firetower, Zendo to Himalayan mountain ridge, Snyders writings reflect a lifetime of study, journey, and mindfulness. Time and again, his work has captured key moments in our changing culture, transforming our concept of literature and its place in a purposeful life.