Back on the Fire: Essays

Gary Snyder

This new collection of essays fuses the personal and political around the idea of fire—literal and metaphorical—as epiphany, a moment when things click, broaden and/or mature into other things, ideas, notions. Whether considering the role of fire in California’s bioregions, how immigration fits with environmental conscience, the role of haiku in today’s troubled world, or noting the passing of Allen Ginsberg and Philip Whalen, Snyder’s short musings connect poetry and history, history and nature, in-here and out-there. In reflecting on Paleolithic cave paintings, art and archetype, and his own younger days logging in the Pacific Northwest, he alludes to the fact that his career has been a search for ways to talk about and use both our natural landscapes and the myths and stories of the whole planet.