cover image A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds

A Place in Space: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds

Gary Snyder / Author Counterpoint LLC $25 (272p) ISBN 978-1-88

In these essays, manifestos, reviews and talks from the past four decades, poet/environmentalist Snyder sets forth individual initiatives to foster an ecologically sound society because ``humanity has become a locust-like blight on the planet that will leave a bare cupboard for its own children.'' Using the concept of a watershed (land drained by a river system) as both model and metaphor, he envisions a world organized by bio-regions instead of by arbitrary political boundaries--a steady-state global economy freed from exploitation, heavy industry and dependence on fossil fuels. Snyder draws inspiration from diverse cultural sources: Buddhist teachings of nonviolence and impermanence, Native American reverence for nature, Chinese poetry, the Ainu of Japan. Also included are a critique of Walt Whitman's version of melting-pot democracy and Snyder's reminiscences of his years in a Zen Buddhist community in Japan and his musings on Beat poetry. These essays are an important and eloquent signpost for developing planetary and ecological consciousness. 40,000 first printing; first serial to Audubon. (Sept.)