The Practice of the Wild:
Reading and Reflecting on Gary Snyder’s Nature Writing

A Weekend Program at
La Terre Institute for Community and Ecology
22500 Rue La Terre, Kiln, MS.
November 19-20, 2016

Gary Snyder is one of the most important poets of nature and nature writers today. He first became well-known as one of the Beat Poets. Many discovered him through his fictionalized version, Japhy Ryder, in Kerouac’s novel The Dharma Bums. After spending years living and studying Zen in Japan, Snyder settled near Nevada City, California. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Turtle Island, the American Book Award for Axe Handles, and has written many other highly regarded and influential works. Snyder is a major inspiration for the ecology and bioregional movements, and for our project at Bayou la Terre.

Our text will be Snyder’s The Practice of the Wild. When participants register a PDF of the readings will be sent to participants, along with basic information about the program. It is, of course, also highly recommended that anyone who does not have a copy of the book should get it. Everyone is asked to read the five essays that we will discuss. It is suggested that everyone record their responses to the readings. Each session will begin with thoughts, reactions and questions from the group. Our time will be divided between the discussion sessions and periods of walking, reflection, meditation, and writing. Saturday evening we will view a documentary film on Gary Snyder and his work, followed by a bonfire on the slope above the cabin.

The program will be held at La Terre Institute, on 87 wooded acres on Bayou La Terre, near Dedeaux, MS. It is 67 miles (70 min.) from central New Orleans. Participants should bring food, tents, personal items & flashlights. We will supply food for group meals & have some room for participants in the house & cabin. There is no cost for the program. Donations are appreciated but not expected. Participants are welcome to volunteer for trail work, building and other projects, for program planning and publicity, and to teach, coteach or facilitate future programs. There will be no work projects during the weekend program.

Maximum registration for the program will be fifteen. Please register as soon as possible, but only if you are confident that you can participate on the scheduled weekend, that you will read the assigned readings before we discuss them, and that you will be present for the entire program, from Noon Saturday until 6:00 PM Sunday. Please email for further information and to register.



11:00-Noon Arrival
Noon-1:00 Lunch and Orientation
1:00-2:30 Session 1: “The Etiquette of Freedom” (3-24)
2:30-4:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
4:00-5:30 Session 2: “The Place, the Region, and the Commons” (27-44)
5:30-7:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
7:00-8:00 Dinner
8:00-9:00 Film: “Practice of the Wild” and discussion.
9:30-10:30 Bonfire


8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-10:30 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
10:30-Noon Session 3: “Good, Wild, Sacred” (78-96)
Noon-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:30 Session 4: “Blue Mountains Constantly Walking” (97-115)
2:30-4:00 Walking, Reflection, Meditation, Writing
4:00-5:30 Session 5: “On the Path, Off the Trail” (145-154)
5:30-6:00 Evaluation and Departure