Gary Snyder in Seattle 2009


This is part one of an audio recording from Gary Snyder's talk at Benaroya Hall in Seattle on May 27, 2009, sponsored by North Cascades Institute and Seattle Arts & Lectures. Snyder's talk begins around 6:00. This presentation features photos by Christian Martin, Benj Drummond, Todd Burley, Nick Mikula, John Scurlock and Institute staff and video by Drummond and Mikula. Part two is at

If you know anything about Gary Snyder, then you can understand why we here at North Cascades Institute were incredibly excited about his reading. Strands of Snyder are interwoven in to the Institute, our mission and our North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, and his poetry and ideas have a totemic presence in our work. The 50 years of poetry, interviews and essays that Snyder has produced has educated, inspired and illuminated us in many different ways. Some of us came out west after reading one of his books on the mountains and trails of our region. Others have been impacted by his writing about community, culture, watersheds, ecology and sustainability — concepts he was exploring decades before they became influential buzzwords in our society. I know of people that have become fire lookouts or trail workers, poets or environmental educators, Buddhists or off-the-grid pioneers in part because of the example Snyder set in both his lifestyle and his writing.

You can download an audio podcast of this reading at