John Edwin Cowen, whose poetry reading from his first book, Mathematics of Love, took place in January at Louie’s Charcoal Pit in Teaneck, will return to Louie’s, 510 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, on Monday, June 18, 2012, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., to read from his recently published second book, Poems From Dylan's Wales. Once again, the River Acoustic Band will perform following the reading and book signing.
Dr. Cowen is a Professor of Literacy / Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is a former teacher and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in the Teaneck Public Schools. A longtime student and lifelong friend of renowned poet Jose Garcia Villa, Dr. Cowen, who is Villa’s Literary Trustee Executor, says he learned three major principles from him: poetry must have formal excellence, poetry must be lyrical, and poetry is not prose (Bravo: The Poet’s Magazine, 1980). “The poems in this book are written in honor of this age old tradition of lyricism from Sappho to Keats to E. E. Cummings to Jose Garcia Villa to Dylan Thomas,” says Cowen.
Although individual poems have appeared in literary magazines over the years, it took a trip to the 2011 International Poetry Festival in Wales for Dr. Cowen to gain the appreciation that would lead to publication of his first book when he was past the age of 70. His second he says, “was written feverishly at a great pace” and was published less than a year after the first, due in large part to the encouragement of two poets / publishers: Peter Thabit Jones of Wales, and Stanley H. Barkan, of New York.