Tag Archives: Gary Snyder

Quote: Gary Snyder (Rucksack Revolution)

Gary Snyder with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, photo by Chris Felver (for educational use)

“I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ’em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.”

Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder: “Writers in Motion” interview from Poland

Poet Gary Snyder interview from Poland “Gary Snyder – Writers in Motion – Audiowizualna biblioteka pisarzy” you’ll likely enjoy:

“Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

Dave Olsen Reads Rousseau

What follows is transcription of a talk called “Fck Stats, Make Art” at Northern Voice, 2008 in Vancouver, BC. Original audio (record by Jay Stewart who is identified as Speaker 1 below) exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Speaker 1: We’re at Northern Voice 2008 in Vancouver BC at the University of British Columbia Forestry Science Center and I’m about to record Dave O’s presentation.  What is the name of the presentation?

Speaker 2: Fuck Stats Make Art.

Speaker 1: Fuck Stats Make Art.  It’s going to be a little bit controversial because he’s going to give a call to up the ante on quality of stuff people are posting.  He’s like, “It doesn’t matter if people are looking, it matters if it’s good content, that’s more important.”

Speaker 2: Certainly good content comes first and then you really [inaudible 00:01:06].

Speaker 1: I don’t need to know when people’s cats are going to the bathroom.  I see a lot of that on Twitter and other sites and stuff, you know?

Announcer: So, it’s my pleasure to introduce one of my best friends here Dave Olson.  He also works with me at Raincity Studios and I’m really excited that you guys get to hear him talk today.  I think this talk would be quite a bit different from everything else that you hear at Northern Voice.

I dragged, Dave, kicking and screaming in the world of Google Analytics and I just didn’t get it, just like every moment I spent either looking at my viewers or attracting new ones is one less moment I’m writing or doing something else that I love.  So, I always respected that about him.

He’s a poet, a filmmaker, an author, photographer and many other awesome things.  Anyway, I’ll leave it up to him to go with the rest.  So, welcome to Fuck Stats Make Art.  

Continue reading “Fck Stats, Make Art” Talk Transcription (Northern Voice 2008)

“Art on High: Beat Poets on the Fire Lookouts” in Seattle Met

 (Yet another yet very welcome) article about Beat Poets working as Fire Lookouts in North Cascades.


Desolation Lookout Jack Kerouac’s post still stands. IMAGE: COURTESY NPS

How to pick a Fire Lookout Cabin to visit? Are you capable?
Perhaps these remarks from Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac will inspire (or retire) your ideas.

Art on High: Beat Poets on the Fire Lookouts

What was Jack Kerouac doing on top of a North Cascade peak?
By Allison Williams 8/1/2013 in the August 2013 issue of Seattle Met

Excerpt, Regarding the remarkable Mr. Snyder:

Gary Snyder was the first poet to get a job as a fire lookout, manning the now-gone station atop Crater Mountain in 1952 while writing and studying Zen; his old friend and fellow poet Philip Whalen took a nearby post the next year. Then, on the night of a now-famous 1955 poetry reading in San Francisco, Snyder was introduced to the young Jack Kerouac. (Allen Ginsberg, drunk on wine to calm his nerves, did the introducing before going onstage to perform a new poem called “Howl.”) Snyder convinced Kerouac to try a stint as a fire lookout, since he himself—a burgeoning anarchist, albeit a pacifist—had been banned due to McCarthy-era blacklisting.

Excerpt: 

Kerouac later wrote about the summer in Desolation Angels and The Dharma Bums, giving his pal Snyder the pseudonym Japhy Ryder. Snyder himself penned poems about the experience throughout his life; “Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout” concludes:

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

& (by the end)

“I wanta go where there’s lamps and telephones and rumpled couches with women on them.”

 

Mountain Fire Lookouts / in the hills and The Guardian

Mountain Fire Lookouts in the next topic.

Fans of Beat Lit heroes are no doubt aware that Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac and Phillip Whalen (among others), spent time thinking, writing, meditating, spacing out in remote forest fire lookout cabins.

Usually the job would include a few weeks of RipRap trail making before being dropped off with a burro worth of supplies to spend a few months being stunned by beauty, accepting solitude, riding out wild storms and growing beards.

These jobs still exists – even with all the technology, nothing is better than a practiced eye up in the sky.

There are several articles about this job and these places which seem to appear from time to time.

Anyhow, so who’s sending in a job application?

This one from The Guardian:

‘Freaks on the peaks’: the lonely lives of the last remaining forest fire lookouts

Rory Carroll at Stonewall fire lookout, Montana
@rorycarroll72
Tue 30 Aug 2016 11.00 BST

There were 10,000 lookouts, scanning the wilderness for signs of smoke. Now just a few hundred remain, and they pass the time hiking, writing and knitting

Gary Snyder: Interview with Junior Burke / Naropa Institute

interesting interview about politics, nature, culture and his contemporaries, by noted poet and personal hero, Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder: Interview with Junior Burke

Re: Self-sufficiency

Can you change the oil in your car yourself? Do you know how to change the oil filter? Do you have a tool kit available? Do you have a tool kit that has several types of pliers, Phillips screwdrivers and slotted screwdrivers? And there is a lot else. To be a self-sufficient human being at this point in history means you need to know a few things, and you can’t always — especially if you are not rich — rely on calling up somebody to come and fix it for you and charge you a lot of money. I am not talking about knowing how to grow your own food or how to cast lead to make your own bullets or something like that, although that would be relevant at times; but just what everybody has to know. My older son, Kai, who lives up in Portland, is forty-three now… He grew up on the farm in the country, or whatever we call it, and he said to me just a couple years ago: “You know, almost none of my friends my age understand what I am talking about when I say I have got to do this with my engine, or I am going to tune up my weed-whacker, or I have got to do some more plumbing, or I have got to get a proper snake for the drain. They never learned anything about fixing thing, or about tools.” Everybody lives in a house, okay? So everybody should be able to do something with their house.

## Continue reading Gary Snyder: Interview with Junior Burke / Naropa Institute

Stories from Japan ~ Inspiration from Global Pecha Kucha Day

Global Pecha Kucha to Inspire Japan

Global Pecha Kucha Night - Inspire JapanI was invited to speak at Global Pecha Kucha Day in Vancouver for the worldwide (100 cities or so) “Inspire Japan” event on April 16 2011 at the Cascade Room on Main St. during the day (usually these Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver events are held at the Vogue Theatre in the evening) with a lovely smart audience as usual. Global Pecha Kucha Night - Inspire Japan

Spiel

via Slideshare

Inspire Japan Stories for Pecha Kucha from Dave Olson

via Flickr

Inspire Japan Pecha Kucha

Background

Pecha Kucha Night is a presentation style and a series of lecture events held around the world under license from the originating design firm in Tokyo – in Vancouver by Cause+Affect.

The presentations are exactly 20 slides, switched automatically each :20 seconds. Like speedy lil TED talks with a tendency towards design, architecture, civic planning but speakers include anyone who is doing something interesting really.

I spoke at a Pecha Kucha night in May 2010 at the Vogue Theatre so i knew the pace is hectic and pacing out of your control (notes: Vancouver ObserverCanada Talent, Vancouver is Awesome).

Anyhow, the Inspire Japan day’s speakers were asked to speak more or less on 4 main themes. Here’s the instructions:

“INSPIRE, JAPAN, THE ISSUES, RECOVERY. They could be simply about things that inspire us, or Japan how it has inspired you. Great ideas or solutions that help deal with the issues at hand whether earthquake, tsunami or nuclear – and the road to recovery.”

Here are the “paper point” collage slides to peruse at your leisure. Next time you buy me a beer, perhaps i’ll spiel the 20 second annotations to go along with each static montage.

Video

The event was streamed online to coincide with the other events. Watching the Twitter stream to see events roll on and off was pretty neat while riding the SeaBus over – especially from far-flung cities i’ve visited from Osnabrueck to Okayama.

Video of PKN Vancouver + Inspire Japan – Note: i am the 4th speaker.

Update: Seems this video is lost the ether of broken links and untended gardens

Lineup

I was on the roster with 3 others speakers (fewer than a usual PKN).

MICHAEL GREEN • MCFARLANE | GREEN | BIGGAR ARCHITECTURE

LINUS LAM • ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY VANCOUVER

TODD MACALLEN • MOLO DESIGN STUDIO

{ME} DAVE OLSON • STORY MAKER / WRITER / PRODUCER

Reasons

This was a joy for me to produce from my time spent in Japan what seems like a lifetime ago. I dug deep into my personal archive to find some neat artifacts for my deck and discovered a variety of lost memories and forgotten incidents tucked away in boxes and files.

The event raised money for Architecture for Humanity to build a school in Japan which is great to be a part of, but truthfully (and selfishly) this was a chance for me to release some emotion by flashingback about how traipsing around Japan changed my life in many ways.

I don’t really talk about that time as much as other sojourns and, since the earthquake and resultant chaos, i wanted to express something-somehow with some sort of storymaking. This was a perfect chance so i dug deep.

Thanks

My pal Daniel Robles gave me a hand building the deck and a load of my pals rolled down to the Cascade Room on Main to lend support and inspiration. See also Naoya Makino’s photoset.

Thanks to @richerd @theeholder @julienemery @donovanpee @kempedmonds @cyn_k @jorobot @kenzoyasauce etc. for support at #pknvan #inspirejapan

Support

Pecha Kucha continues to raise money by marketing an e-book of the poster art from the various Inspire Japan events around the world. Some top-end designers contributed work so bound to be enjoyable for your virtual coffee table.

Thanks to Steven, Jane, and Becki for the invite. Sign me up anytime.

Fire Watchers and their Towers in the North Cascades / Skagit Valley Journal

More about Fire lookout tower in Cascadia… the low down the mechanics of running these operations and the rugged folks who made it happen. Plus name checks for the town of Sedro-Wooley which i’ve spent time in years ago.

Fire Watchers and their Towers in the North Cascades

Story posted on Aug. 12, 2002, last updated June 15, 2010

Regarding Jack, Gary and Phillip:

The most famous firewatcher was Jack Kerouac, who spent part of the summer of 1956 in the tower at Desolation Peak near Mount Hozomeen and the U.S.-Canada border. Like some other watchers of the day, he anticipated his time there as a period of reflection and meditation and cleansing in the solitude. His friend, poet Gary Snyder, signed on as a fire lookout earlier — at Crater in 1952 and Sourdough in 1953, but was blacklisted by the Feds and did not return for 1954, the “high summer of the great fear,” as historian David Caute described it. Snyder’s Reed College friend and fellow poet Philip Whalen manned Sauk Mountain in 1953, then Sourdough in 1954 and 1955. Snyder was the one who alerted Kerouac to the joys and solitude of the mountains. All those sites north of the Skagit are part of the Mount Baker National Forest that was originally patrolled by the legendary ranger Tommy Thompson.

Whatever Kerouac thought he was seeking, he found what many others did: monotony and boredom after the initial excitement. We learn from the Ann Charters biography, Kerouac, a Biography, that Jack came up from California in mid-June 1956, attended a fire-watching school for a week and then spent eight weeks on the mountain after being packed in on muleback. On the climb upwards he saw the charred snags that stood witness to the flash fire of 1919 that led to name of Desolation, part of the Starvation Ridge area. Nary a fire threatened his assigned area that summer so he spent much of his time on the routine chores of chopping wood, collecting bucketsful of snow for washing and cooking, communicating on the two-way radio, pacing about on the narrow trails, chewing Beech Nut gum and smoking his roll-yer-owns.

He slept on a wooden bunk with a rope mattress in the sleeping bag Snyder helped him pick out in Oakland. To amuse himself he baked rye muffins, played a baseball game with a pack of cards that he’d invented when he was a boy in Lowell, and picked a few sprigs of alpine fire and a wild flower every day to put in a coffee cup on his desk. Jack wrote at the desk facing away from looming Mount Hozomeen on his north, the dark, naked rock of Hozomeen coming to symbolize for him ‘the Void,’ with its clouds and thunderstorms, the two sharp peaks of Hozomeen looming in his window as he lay in bed, ‘the Northern Lights behind it reflecting all the ice of the North Pole from the other side of the world.’ During the long afternoons he sat in his canvas chair facing ‘Void Hozomeen,’ listening to the silence of his cabin and making up haikus. His experience that summer is the kernel of his later book, Desolation Angels, the companions he imagined dancing out of the fog along the ridge. The North Cascades Institute in Sedro-Woolley offers a course based on the experience of Jack Kerouac and his writing.

Gary Snyder: 50th Anniversary of Riprap at UC Berekley

UC Berkeley’s blurb:

Fifty years ago this Fall a small press in Kyoto, Japan published an English language book of poems, Riprap, by an unknown, first-time poet and UC Berkeley graduate student, Gary Snyder. It was, along with Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, one of the books that launched the Beat Generation. It was also the most important book of American nature writing since John Muir’s The Mountains of California in 1890, a pioneering work in the brief history of the American Buddhist sensibility, and a set of poems that combined freedom and elegance in a way that opened up new pathways in modern poetry. Join us in celebrating this landmark in American literature and in the cultural life of California.

 

Questions + Answers from the Hero Dossier – Fresh Media, 2009

paper-point-podcast

At Fresh Media conference at W2 Arts + Media Centre, participants riff a spontaneous blurb about a hero from a Dossier of Importantcy in a workshop about storytelling + podcasting by Dave Olson (AKA Uncle Weed).

Features Samuel Pepys, RMS Carpathia, Amber Case, Thomas Paine, J. Garcia, Mudhoney, JJ Rousseau, Geoff Berner, Ed Abbey, The Numbskulz, DH Lawrence, Tin Tin, HD Thoreau, Jer Crowle, Bev Davies, Gary Snyder, Vaclav Havel, Lou Reed, Cory Doctorow, Dr. Seuss, Dead Kennedys, Theo Van Gogh & Derek K. Miller, Gillian Shaw and other personal luminaries liberated from an envelope. Thanks to @shermanscorner for tunes.

Choose a hero card for: Questions & Answers from the Hero Dossier (7:33,.mp3)

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