Tamalpais Walking: Poetry, History, and Prints

Overview

"Dominating the landscape of Marin County; Mt. Tamalpais serves as inspiration and refuge to San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors, a constant reminder of the abiding power of place. Conservationists, trail builders, botanists, artists, and poets have worked for more than a century; within the mountain's imposing geological form and varied natural features, to sustain this cherished community resource and sanctuary." "Tamalpais Walking explores Mt. Tamalpais's natural, cultural, historic, and spiritual dimensions. It is a book shaped by
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Overview

"Dominating the landscape of Marin County; Mt. Tamalpais serves as inspiration and refuge to San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors, a constant reminder of the abiding power of place. Conservationists, trail builders, botanists, artists, and poets have worked for more than a century; within the mountain's imposing geological form and varied natural features, to sustain this cherished community resource and sanctuary." "Tamalpais Walking explores Mt. Tamalpais's natural, cultural, historic, and spiritual dimensions. It is a book shaped by two master craftsmen collaborating on an enterprise nurtured by long and passionate involvement. The artwork is the product of Tom Killion's decades of depicting and interpreting the mountain's many moods and aspects. Gary Snyder has been hiking Mt. Tamalpais since 1948, and through poetry and a new; revealing essay he offers his thoughts on the mountain, its history; and the practice of walking meditation." Further enriched with Killion's essays on the mountain's history and selections from the work of Jack Kerouac, Ina Coolbrith, Kenneth Rexroth, and Lew Welch, Tamalpais Walking takes us deep into Mt. Tamalpais's pathways, offering original, revelatory views of a mountain prominent not just on the landscape but in the history and imagination of the West Coast.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Poet Snyder refers to Mount Tamalpais as "San Francisco's backyard wilderness." But Killion's brief history makes clear that the location has been an integral part of San Francisco's outdoor culture since the 19th century. Although "Tamalpais" is a Miwok Indian word, what role the mountain played in their traditions has been lost. Place names on the mountain commemorate settlers who hiked its slopes, and the genteel poets and writers of the post-Civil War generations created most of the "Indian" legends associated with it. But it was with Kenneth Rexroth and the burgeoning San Francisco scene of the 1930s that Tamalpais found its place in American literature, and later Jack Kerouac placed scenes in The Dharma Bums on the small mountain. Snyder is Tamalpais's greatest poet, and his essay recalling three circumambulatory hikes on the mountain is a highlight of the book. Poems by Rexroth, Snyder and Lew Welch are interspersed throughout, and multiblock color prints by Killion (who collaborated with Snyder on The High Sierra of California) pay homage both to Tamalpais and the Japanese masters of ukiyo-e, who perfected the complicated technique. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597142595
  • Publisher: Heyday Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2013
  • Pages: 143
  • Sales rank: 490,687
  • Product dimensions: 11.44 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Map

Pt. 1 Imagining Tamalpais Tom Killion Killion, Tom Gary Snyder Snyder, Gary 1

Pt. 2 Underfoot Earth Turns Gary Snyder Snyder, Gary 33

Pt. 3 Poetic Histories Tom Killion Killion, Tom 55

1 The Sleeping Lady: Invention And Appropriation (1860s-1920): Early Poetry of Tamalpais: Coolbrith's Circle, the Mountain Play, and the Sleeping Maiden Myth 57

2 Building A Walking World (1900s-1945): Creating and Preserving Tamalpais's Walking Culture: Hiking clubs, William Kent, the Nature Friends, and Kenneth Rexroth's poetry 74

3 The Magic Mountain (1945-1970): Reinventing the walking World through Poetry: Rexroth, Snyder, and Lew Welch, with poems and journal entries from Gary Snyder 99

Pt. 4 Carving Tamalpais Tom Killion Killion, Tom 123

Notes 135

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Stunningly gorgeous book

    The quality of the written and visual art combine to make this a remarkable book.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    ideal blend of art work and text for artistic and spiritual enjoyment

    The woodcut and letterpress artist Killion has a Japanese touch to his artwork. The modest graphic style and the coloring remind one of Japanese woodcuts, as does the nature subject matter. Killion's prints though concern Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco. It's a nature area popular with hikers and campers and also arousing spiritual feelings. Gary Snyder's poetry goes along with Killion's prints concerning the Mount Tamalpais notable throughout the region for physical and spiritual reasons. Snyder's poems with haiku-like lines mirror physical aspects of nature and spirituality in connection to nature. Beyond his poetry, Snyder embraced an Asian, Zen-like spirituality and lived close to nature. He spent much time hiking about Tamalpais, and he spent time in Japan to experience Asian spirituality directly.

    Besides the art work, Killian writes fetching essays for the book. Snyder contributes journal-like parts going back to the 1950s and '60s. But the two are not the only ones found. Quotes from the writings of Kenneth Rexroth, Jack Kerouac, Ina Coolbright and anecdotes on such authors representing the fusion of Asian spirituality and American openness of spirit and attraction to nature are interwoven into the text.

    There are 14 full-page color woodcuts of Killion's including the frontispiece. Others are of varying sizes in full-color or shades of dark colors. Coming upon the woodcuts of all sizes throughout the pages, one is drawn to them again and again perusing their details of coastline, clouds, craggy earth, and slopes. One wants to notice Killion's technical skill and spots of originality in this art, and also enjoy again and again the aesthetic and spiritual freshets afforded by them. At the end are three pages of color woodcuts four to a page.

    The book is a rare book published these days, or ever. Not falling neatly into a marketing or shelving category of the book trade, it is a risky publishing venture even considering the reputations of the artist and poet. Despite this, no effort or expense has been spared in design or production. Though it has aspects of each, Tamalpais Walking cannot be reduced to a nature book, an art book, or a book of spirituality. These aspects are joined ideally; and to some point brought together subliminally, although the book is founded in the particular place of Mount Tamalpais. Primarily it's a book of spiritual and artistic enjoyment.

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