Gary Snyder is a sadly neglected poet, which is to the advantage of the collector! That being said, it is perhaps worth noting that, given the fact that he is still a contemporary author and lecturer, then the fact that his works are collectible at all goes to show just how important he will be considered in later years. It is this correspondent’s opinion that, in the years and decades to come, the legacy of Gary Snyder will only grow from strength to strength.
Gary Snyder is one of the first links of the new contemporary literature scene in America. He started writing at the birth of the Beat Generation (1950’s) where he met and befriended the author Jack Kerouac, who famously immortalized him as Japhy Rider in his great work The Dharma Bums. Although this alone is a great call to fame, Gary Snyder has many more. Through the sixties he remained a strong counter-cultural voice in the growing ‘hippy’ as well as ‘green’, environmental, and permaculture movements. It wouldn’t be too presumptuous to say that his nature poetry and treatises were actually the intellectual and cultural backbone of those movements. We should not stop there however, as it must also be considered that Japhy Rider was one of the first of the lay-people to popularize Buddhism in the West through his re-translations of traditional Buddhist teaching-stories and documents.
A wonderful part of collecting Snyder is the fact that his ethos bled through his work to the production. He chose to produce much of his work through limited edition, small and fine press, often with great care given to the presentation, printing material, and lexicography. It is because of this that we can find – very cheaply – limited edition Snyder collections printed on rice paper, or bound with Japanese binding, or calligraphy. Up until now they have been marketed to a very select environmental/intellectual audience, but I believe that these fine articles would make a welcome addition to any collection.
Consider investing in such Snyder poetry collections as Riprap (Origin Press 1959)or Regarding Wave (Windhover Press 1969) both available for under $1000, or Songs for Gaia (1979) available for under $500. For a true collectible pleasure, and items which are amazingly inexpensive – it would be well worth investing in the broadside poster-poems that Snyder became interested in, often letter-press or hand printed on recycled paper, with his own calligraphy or illustrations. Both Artemis & Pan (La Alameda 2013) and Pleistocene (Pleistocene, 1973) are available at auction for as little as $300, and will make excellent pieces if well-cared for in later years.
Snyder, Gary. Japan: Theme and Variations. Tuttle, Rutland (1959). Collections of Poems by AmericansGary Snyder contributor; 1st and 2nd editions within the same year; first book appearance of Snyder with 'A Stone Garden'
Snyder, Gary. Riprap. Origin Press, Ashland, MA (1959). Designed and edited by Cid Corman; Limited 1st edition of 500 copies; 2nd edition limited to 1000 copies
Snyder, Gary. The Wooden Fish. The First Zen Institute of America in Japan (1961). Kanetsuki Gutetsu (coauthor); Basic Sutras & Gathas of Rinzai Zen; Limited to 500 copies printed in Japan
Webb, Jon Edgar. The Ousider. Loujon Press, New Orleans (1963). Edited by Jon Edgar Webb adLouise Gypsy Lou; Vol 1 No. 3; Contributors: E.L. Borenstein, Sue Abbott Boyd, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Samuel B. Charters, William Corrington, Robert Creeley, R.R. Cuscaden, Larry Eigner, Roy Fisher, Jean Genet, Anselm Hollo, Kay Johnson, Alain Jouffroy, Lionel Kearns, Irving Layton, Michael McClure, Henry Miller, Raeburn Miller, Barbara Moraff, Willard Motley, Alex Neish, Harold Norse, Kenneth Patchen, Miriam Patchen, Larry Rubin, Gary Snyder, Carl Solomon, Robert Sward, Diane Wakoski, Jon Edgar Webb, Robert Lewis Weeks and Douglas Woolf
Snyder, Gary. Nanao Knows. Four Seasons Foundation, San Fransisco (1964). Limited edition of 300 copies
Snyder, Gary. Six Sections. Four Seasons Foundation, San Fransisco (1965). From Mountains and Rivers Without End.; Limited edition of 1000 copies
Snyder, Gary. A Range Of Poems. Fulcrum Press, London (1966). Limited edition of 100 numbered copies, 50 signed by Snyder
Snyder, Gary. Regarding Wave.. Grabhorn-Hoyem, San Fransisco (1967). Limited edition of 125 copies
Snyder, Gary. Six Sections. Fulcrum Press, London (1967). From Mountains and Rivers Without End.; Limited edition of 100 copies, signed by Snyder; first UK edition
Snyder, Gary. The Back Country. Fulcrum Press, London (1967). First UK edition; 100 numbered copies, additional out of series specially bound copies
Snyder, Gary. Unicorn Folio. [Santa Barbara: Unicorn Press], 1967 (1967). Series 1 No. 1; Limited edition of 325 numbered copies; Contains: "Go Round" by Gary Snyder, "Willing to Be " by Madeline Gleason, "December 20, 1966" and "Three Poems" by Ken Maytag, "Can We Love and Play and Know" by Melissa Mytinger " Barbara" by Jacques Prevert, "Little Allegories of Canada" by Miriam Waddington, "The Poem as Mask: Orpheus" by Muriel Rukeyser, and "Strip-Tease"/"Lettish Saga" by Andrei Voznesensky
Snyder, Gary. The Back Country. New Directions, New York (1968).
Snyder, Gary. Earth House Hold. New Directions, New York (1969). Technical Notes & Queries to Fellow Dharma Revolutionaries; 2500 copies
Snyder, Gary. Regarding Wave. The Windhover Press, Iowa City (1969). 280 numbered copies signed by author
Snyder, Gary. A Curse on the Men in Washington, Pentagon. Unicorn Press (1970). Correct first edition with 'Buddah'
Gildzen, Alex. Six Poems / Seven Prints. Kent State University Libraries, Kent, OH (1971). Edited by Alex Gidzen; Contributors: John Ashbery, Denise Levertov, Gary Snyder, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Bertolino, Steven Osterlund; Grace Hartigan, Alex Katz, Otto Piene, Fairfield Porter, Harvey Quaytman, Mary Ann Begland Sacco, and Robert Smithson; 7 prints in black or purple by Grace Hartigan, Alex Katz, Otto Piene, Fairfield Porter, Harvey Quaytman, Mary Ann Begland Sacco, and Robert Smithson; Limited edition of 500 copies
Snyder, Gary. The Fudo Trilogy. Shaman Drum, Berkeley (1973). Illustrated with 3 woodcuts by Michael Corr; 108 copies designed by Clifford Burke and signed by Snyder and Corr, 6 printer's copies
Snyder, Gary. Turtle Island. New Directions, New York (1974). Trade publication of 2000 copies
Snyder, Gary. Myths & Texts. New Directions, New York (1978). First hardcover edition
Snyder, Gary. Yase : September. North San Juan, California (1979). Color engraving by Bob Giorgio50 numbered copies signed by Snyder and Giorgio
Snyder, Gary. True Night. North San Juan, CA (1980). Illustrated with 11 full-page engravings in wood and linoleum by Bob Giorgio; 100 numbered copies signed by Snyder and Giorgio; printed on hand-made Japanese Hosho paper
Robinson, Alan James (artist). Roadkills. Cheloniidae Press, Easthampton (1981). Illustrated with 11 wood engravings by Alan James Robinson; Contributors: John McPhee, Gary Snyder, William Stafford, Richard Eberhart et al; Deluxe edition of 50 copies signed by all 6 contributors, total edition 300 signed by Robinson
Snyder, Gary. Tree Song. James Linden, San Fransisco (1986). Photograph by Michael Mundy 'Dogwood, Forest-Yosemite'; 26 lettered copies, signed by Snyder, Mundy, Peter Kock (printer), and James Linden (publisher), 226 total edition
Snyder, Gary. Mountains and Rivers Without End. Counterpoint, Washington (1996). Limited edition of 150 numbered copies signed by author
Snyder, Gary. Three on Community. Limberlost Press, Boise (1996). Foreward by Tom Lyon; Contains: Snyders Coming Into the Watershed', Wendell Berry's 'Conserving Communities', Carole Korda's 'Dancing in the Borderland'; Limited edition of 800 copies, 100 numbered and signed by authors;