Introduced to the evolving field of expansive cryptopoetics by Anne Waldman in 1976 and as a teaching assistant to Allen Ginsberg at Naropa’s University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in 1980, poet, recording artist, editor, publisher, and poetics curator Jim Cohn studied with renowned Black Mountain, Beat Generation, New York School, Black Arts, Feminist, and Environmental Justice poets, political activists, and countercultural luminaries. An early investigator and identifier of the Postbeat poetry genre––which sought the continuation of cultural, sexual, medicinal, social, political and environmental struggles of the Beat Generation into 21st century American society as well as abroad, with a special interest in China-–Cohn centered his work on themes of diversity, equality, social justice and environmental sustainability in the face of climate change and the rise of white supremacist bigotry. In his career as a disability specialist, he served students with nonvisible disabilities at St. Lawrence University and the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was also an advocate for Disability Studies. An ally of American Sign Language poetry communities, he coordinated the first National Deaf Poetry Conference in the United States (1987). Besides books of poetry, poetics nonfiction, spoken word recordings, and curating the vast Museum of American Poetics website he founded in 1998, Cohn mimeo-produced ACTION Magazine in the mid-1980s while living in Rochester, NY, and then the annual poetics journal Napalm Health Spa from 1990-2015. His master work, Treasures for Heaven, collects published, unpublished and recent works spanning nearly five decades of poetics activism. Cohn’s literary papers are archived at the University of Michigan Special Collections Library. He resides in Boulder County, Colorado, where his daughter, Isabella Grace Cohn, was born.
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