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Gary Snyder: Chronology

1929    24 Oct.: Stock market crashes.

1930    8 May: Gary Snyder born in San Francisco; Hart Crane, The Bridge; Ezra Pound, A Draft of XXX Cantos.

1932    Snyder's family moves to Washington State; family is extremely poor during Depression years; Hart Crane commits Suicide; Sylvia Plath born.

1939    William Butler Yeats dies.

1941    7 Dec.: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; US enters Second World War.

1942    Snyder's family moves to Portland, Oregon.

1945    President Truman authorises dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; end of Second World War.

1946    William Carlos Williams, Paterson, Book One; Robert Lowell, Lord Weary's Castle.

1947    Autumn: Snyder begins undergraduate study at Reed College, Portland, Oregon, on scholarship.

1948    Summer: Snyder ships out for New York as seaman; John Berryman, The Dispossessed; Theodore Roethke, The Lost Son.

1950    Charles Olson, 'Projective Verse'; US population officially reaches 151 million; Snyder marries Alison Gass; Snyder publishes first poems in Reed College student publication; Summer: Snyder works for Park Service excavating the archaeological site of Fort Vancouver.

1950-l   Snyder writes senior thesis at Reed: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth.

1951    Spring: Snyder graduates from Reed with BA in anthropology and literature; Summer: Snyder works as timber scaler on Warm Springs Indian Reservation, Oregon; Autumn: Snyder begins graduate programme in anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, but stays only one semester.

1952    Spring: Snyder returns to San Francisco, does odd jobs, lives with Philip Whalen, also a Zen Buddhist; Summer: Snyder works as mountain forest lookout in Baker National Forest; divorces Alison Gass.

1953-6    Snyder studies Oriental culture and languages at University of California at Berkeley.

1953    Summer: Snyder works as lookout in Baker National Forest on Sourdough Mountain; Autumn: Snyder meets Kenneth Rexroth.

1954    Summer: Snyder works at lumber camp; Wallace Stevens, Collected Poems.

1955    Summer: Snyder works on trail crew at Yosemite National Park - experiential source of Riprap; translates Cold Mountain Poems; Autumn: the retrospectively named San Francisco Renaissance is inaugurated as Allen Ginsberg reads Howl at the Six Gallery, San Francisco; Snyder meets Ginsberg and Kerouac in San Francisco; lives with Kerouac in cabin in Mill Valley - source of Kerouac's The Dharma Bums; Wallace Stevens dies.

1956    May: Snyder goes to Japan for first time on scholarship from First Zen Institute of America; lives in Zen Temple; October: Ginsberg; Howl and Other Poems.

1957    August: Snyder boards Sappa Creek in Yokohama, works as wiper in engine room; visits: Persian Gulf five times, Italy, Turkey, Okinawa, Wake, Guam, Ceylon, Pago Pago, Samoa; Jack Kerouac, On the Road.

1958    April: Snyder gets off ship, returns to San Francisco; Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums.

1959-65    Snyder lives in Kyoto, Japan; studies under Zen master Oda Sesso Roshi.

1959    Snyder, Riprap; Robert Lowell, Life Studies; Robert Duncan, Selected Poems.

1960    Snyder, Myths & Texts; Donald Allen (ed.), The New American Poetry; Charles Olson, first volume of The Maximus Poems; Snyder marries Joanne Kyger.

1961    20 Jan.: Inauguration of J. F. Kennedy as US President; Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish.

1962    John Ashberry, The Tennis Court Oath.

1963    November: assassination of President Kennedy; William Carlos Williams dies; 11 Feb.: Sylvia Plath commits suicide.

1964-5    Snyder is lecturer in English at University of California at Berkeley.

1964    Snyder receives Bess Hoskin Prize; separates from Joanne Kyger.

1965-8   Snyder studies Zen Buddhism in Japan; race riots shake US.

1965    Snyder, Riprap, and Cold Mountain Poems; Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End; Sylvia Plath, Ariel; T. S. Eliot dies; Autumn: Snyder returns to Japan; divorces Joanne Kyger.

1966    Snyder awarded prize by National Institute of Arts and Letters; returns to US; A Range of Poems published in England.

1967    March: Snyder returns to Japan, lives on Banyan Ashram, marries Masa Uehara on rim of active volcano.

1968-72    Student protests on US campuses across nation.

1968    Snyder publishes The Back Country; returns to US; receives Levinson Prize from Poetry (Chicago), and is awarded Guggenheim Fellowship; son Kai born; Charles Olson, Maximus Poems: IV, V, VI; assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

1969    Snyder, Earth House Hold; Vine Deloria, Jr, Custer Died For Your Sins; Snyder's son Gen born.

1970    Snyder, Regarding Wave; Charles Olson dies; National Guard fires on students at Kent State University, Ohio.

1971    Snyder builds his own house, 'Kitkitdizze’, in foothills of Sierra Nevada.

1972    Ezra Pound dies; boundary 2: a journal of postmodern culture founded by William Spanos and Robert Kroetsch; Snyder attends United Nations Conference on Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden.

1973    Snyder, The Fudo Trilogy; war in Vietnam officially over.

1974    Snyder, Turtle Island; Anne Sexton commits suicide.

1975    Snyder awarded Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Turtle Island; Olson, The Maximus Poems: Volume Three; 27 Dec.: first MLA panel on Snyder's poetry held in San Francisco.

1976    First critical book-length study of Snyder published: Bob Steuding, Gary Snyder.

1977    Snyder, The Old Ways; Robert Lowell dies.

1978    Snyder publishes his Reed thesis: He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village: The Dimensions of a Haida Myth.

1980    Snyder, The Real Work.

1983     Snyder, Axe Handles; second critical study of Snyder appears: Charles Molesworth, Gary Snyder's Vision.

1986    Snyder, Left Out in the Rain (previously unpublished poems written between 1947 and 1985).

1987    20 May: Snyder inducted into American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

1990    December: MLA panel in Chicago: 'Gary Snyder at 60'.

from Dean, Tim. Gary Snyder and the American Unconscious: Inhabiting the Ground.

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