Gary Snyder’s ‘playful poetry’ to benefit San Juan Ridge library |

Gary Snyder’s ‘playful poetry’ to benefit San Juan Ridge library

The Union photo/John Hart
John R. Hart | The Union

Know & Go

What: Playful Poetry and Guitar a benefit for the San Juan Ridge Community Library

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Oak Tree Lodge, 18847 Oak Tree Road, on the San Juan Ridge

Tickets: Available at Family Resource Center on San Juan Ridge and at the SJR Community Library, and at the door. Tickets are $30, includes refreshments and fancy desserts.

For info: Call 292-3174 for info and advance tickets. For more information on the San Juan Ridge Community Library, go to or

Pulitzer-prize winning poet Gary Snyder — a resident of the San Juan Ridge since 1970 — will be teaming up with musician Sean Kerrigan for an evening of “Playful Poetry and Guitar” this Thursday, to benefit the San Juan Ridge Community Library.

Snyder — who first rose to prominence as a member of the Beats in San Francisco in the 1950s and who has accumulated a lifetime of writing awards, including the Pulitzer for his 1974 book, Turtle Island, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2008 — said he was more than happy to fundraise for an event that helps preserve the written word.

“I don’t think the printed word and books are in any danger at all,” Snyder said, pointing to the recent revival of independent bookstores and the growing popularity of fine editions. “The specific, material simplicity of books cannot be erased.”

According to Snyder, he first partnered with Kerrigan in 2000, for a six-hour performance of “Mountains and Rivers Without End,” at North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center’s outdoor amphitheater. Snyder read the entire text of the poem, which explores land and its processes in 38 sections, with accompaniment by Kerrigan, Ludi Hinrichs and Daniel Flanigan; according to The Union’s coverage, more than 500 people attended. An encore performance took place in Tokyo in 2002, Snyder said.

Snyder and Kerrigan last paired up in 2010, at a combined fundraiser for the Oak Tree Community Park and the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center — and now they are together again.

The library opened in a new space this summer at the Oak Tree Community Park buildings, located at 18841 Oak Tree Road. The library had been boxed up and awaiting its new home since 2011, when it had to move out of its space at Grizzly Hill School. In addition to books, the library also has four computers in place that were donated by the Nevada County Library, and DSL.

According to executive director Roo Cantada, since the June grand opening, more than 2,000 new items have been added to the library’s stock.

The benefit starts at 7 p.m. Thursday and takes place at the Oak Tree Lodge, said Cantada. Tickets are $30 and include refreshments, and will be available at the door.

“Sean and I rehearsed for this just last night,” Snyder said Monday. “This will be one and a half hours — we will do some new things, I will read some new poems.”

For more information on the San Juan Ridge Community Library, go to or LIbrary.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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