A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 10, 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. In 1967, disappointed with his lack of financial success as a writer, Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk music singer–songwriter. During the 1960s, he was a fringe figure in Andy Warhol’s “Factory” crowd. Warhol speculated that Cohen had spent time listening to Nico in clubs and that this had influenced his musical style. His song “Suzanne” became a hit for Judy Collins (who subsequently covered a number of Cohen’s other songs, as well), and was for many years his most covered song. Cohen has stated that he was duped into giving up the rights for the song, but was glad it happened, as it would be wrong to write a song that was so well-loved and to get rich for it also.
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