A conversation with Gary Snyder

In 2006, I spent three days with Gary Snyder while he was in Ames, Iowa, attending a symposium on wilderness. There was some irony involved; Iowa has the smallest proportion of wild land of any of the 50 states. It has no national parks, few state parks and more than 80 percent of its total surface area is covered in corn and soybeans. But that’s probably why people there are concerned about wild land; it becomes more and more interesting as it disappears. I felt very lucky to have that time with the poet. He was gracious and generous, even when answering the same questions over and over all day. The Star Tribune asked me to interview him again in advance of a reading he’s doing here April 18. Here’s the interview.

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