The following is a republished press release from Cornell University and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

ITHACA, NY  – Cornell Plantations kicks-off their Annual Fall Lecture Series, Wednesday, August 24, with a lecture by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beat poet, conservationist, and scholar – Gary Snyder.

The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium in Kennedy Hall on Cornell University’s campus, and will be followed by a complimentary garden party in the botanical garden of Cornell Plantations celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Harder Family Lecture.

Describing his own works, Gary Snyder has written, “I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.”

According to The Poetry Foundation, many of Snyder’s poems aim to instill an ecological consciousness in the reader, and reflect “a concern for the environment and the plight of the American Indian as well as insights engendered by his role as a husband, father and steward of the land.”

In this lecture, he will explore the concept of “bioregionalism” through the literary works of Daoist and Buddhist hermits and other peoples of the land, and how that perspective relates to the mission of Cornell Plantations. Snyder will read several of his ‘Cold Mountain’ translations of poems by the Tang Dynasty poet Han Shan, as well as some of his own poems for different landscapes.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring Gary Snyder to Cornell for this 20th Anniversary celebration of the William and Jane Torrence Harder Lecture” stated Dr. Christopher Dunn, the E. N. Wilds director of Cornell Plantations.  “The Harder’s have always encouraged us to feature speakers that celebrate the link between the literary and natural world, and Mr. Snyder is a perfect choice.

As a Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner who focuses his time on issues related to wildlife, ecology, indigenous cultures and bioregional philosophy, he is uniquely posed to tell the story of human connection to nature through his poetry and essays. This lecture and Garden Party are not to be missed!”

Gary Snyder is an American poet, Zen Buddhist, mountaineer, environment activist, and founding member of the Beat Generation. He has written 16 collections of poetry and prose, including No Nature, Mountains and Rivers Without End, The Practice of the Wild, Axe Handles, and Turtle Island.  Described as “the Thoreau of the Beat Generation,” his work is rooted deeply in elements of nature and preservation.

Since 1970 he has lived in the watershed of the South Yuba River in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and a finalist for the National Book Award in 1992, Snyder has been awarded the Bollingen Poetry Prize and the Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.  This Present Moment is Snyder’s latest collection of works

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.