Cohen, Allen 1940-2004

views updated

COHEN, Allen 1940-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born April 23, 1940, in New York, NY; died of liver cancer, April 29, 2004, in Walnut Creek, CA. Editor and author. Cohen was a poet who was also well known as the founding editor of the underground newspaper San Francisco Oracle. A graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, he earned a B.A. there in 1963. Moving to San Francisco, he worked at the Psychedelic Shop for several years before cofounding the Oracle in 1966. The paper published the works of such noted writers as Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey and announced cultural events such as 1967's "Human Be-In." It was also the Oracle that declared the summer of 1967 the "Summer of Love." After the newspaper closed its doors in 1968, Cohen lived in a commune near Mendocino, California, and wrote poetry. Among his collections are Childbirth Is Ecstasy (1970), Reagan Poems (1981), and Book of Hats (1992). In the 1990s, he occupied his time by giving poetry readings and working as a substitute teacher in Oakland, California. After the terrorist attacks in 2001, Cohen edited an anthology with Clive Matson titled An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind: Poets on 9/11 (2002), which won the 2003 Natural Literary Award from the Oakland chapter of PEN.



Chicago Tribune, May 8, 2004, Section 2, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2004, p. B15.