In an author photograph on the back cover of Back on the Fire (Shoemaker & Hoard) Gary Snyder is shown looking west into the distance (seen from the perspective of a Canadian reader looking south to the Sierra Nevada foothills, Snyder’s home for more than thirty years). He wears a straw cowboy hat and two earrings in his right ear lobe, and his face is lined from years of squinting across landscapes. As a young man Snyder worked in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, “from the Canadian border down to Yosemite,” planting trees, building trails and going on the lookout for lightning-sparked wildfires. These essays range in scope from the personal to the planetary. In one, Snyder—accompanied by his son, Gen—searches for his maternal great-grandmother’s tombstone, weathered and hidden by Kansas grass; in another he speaks on the role of writers in the present-day “war against nature.” Several essays consider the role that fire plays in the deep ecology of forests, and while Snyder speaks particularly of his native Sierra forests, most of his insights apply not just to one specific watershed, but more generally to what he refers to as “the big watershed of the planet.” Snyder warns of the long-range effects of the choices we make in “this hyper-informed but historically clueless speeded-up contemporary world.” Now seventy-six, Snyder has earned his status as respected poet and elder statesman, and these essays offer a good deal of Buddhist wisdom to all who take the time to listen.