John Oliver Simon is one of the legendary poets of the Berkeley Sixties who has remained true to his calling. A fifth-generation Californian born in New York City in 1942, he wrote his first poem under a full moon in 1956. He was educated at The Putney School, Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley, was mentored by John C. Adler, Jeffrey Campbell, Daniel Hoffman, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch and Carol Lee Sánchez, and was active in the Free Speech Movement and People’s Park. Grandpa's Syllables is his ninth full-length book.
John Oliver Simon is a widely published translator of contemporary Latin-American poetry, who received an NEA Fellowship in Translation for his work with the great Chilean surrealist Gonzalo Rojas (1917-2011). His day-job is teaching children to write poetry. He has worked as a poet-teacher with California Poets In The Schools since 1971. He was River of Words Teacher of the Year for 2013.
Special thanks to friends who opined on many of these poems online: Eileen Adams, JoAnn Anglin, Ivan Argüelles, Bernie Banet, Alberto Blanco, Carolyn Boursse, Lorelei Bosserman, Jeff Brain, Robin Chapman, Luis Cortés Bargalló, Elsa Cross, Sharon Doubiago, Kathy Evans, Rebecca Foust, Zoe Francesca, Daniel Gabriel, Alta Gerrey, Dorothy Gilbert, Pam Hazel, Caleb Kleppner, Mike Knippel, Yonah Kranz, Linda Lancione, Audrey Larkin, Jack Large, Lorena Lobita, Jorge Luján, C.M. Mayo, Elaine Miller, J.D. Moyer, Ragnar Naess, Becky Parfitt, Frances Phillips, J.P. Reese, Anita Sagástegui, Elizabeth Sah, David Shaddock, Peter Sherburne-Zimmer, Jan Simon, Kia Simon, Lisa Smartt, Judith Tannenbaum, Catherine Taylor, Tracey Tokuhama, Freid Wittman and Susan Wooldridge, among others.
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