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PEN West: An Evening with John Oliver Simon

PEN West is thrilled to feature the poet, teacher, and translator John Oliver Simon in a reading of his poetry and discussion of his career as a veteran poet of distinction, a translator traversing the literary and cultural matrix of the Latin American community, and a teacher of poetry. 

The evening will take place in a private home in Berkeley, CA. Please RSVP to Acting Director of PEN West, Wendy Martin, to receive event details: Wendy.Martin@PENWest.info.

In 2015, the mayor of Berkeley proclaimed January 20th ‘John Oliver Simon Day’ in recognition of the contributions Simon made to the artistic and educational community in the San Francisco Bay Area. For Simon, a prominent figure in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the 60’s, civic engagement, poetry and translation share the same spring of passionate commitment.

Since 1971, Simon has been a poetry teacher to children, and in 2013 was named the River of Words Teacher of the Year by former United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass. For his work with the Chilean surrealist poet Gonzalo Rojas, Simon received an NEA Fellowship in Translation. Simon has also received the Individual Artist’s Fellowship by the California Arts Council, and has served as a board member for the California Poets in the Schools. In his review of John Oliver Simon’s Caminante, Gary Snyder says, in praise, that “John O., like an old time Chinese poet, weaves through history, politics, poverty, geography, poetry, spirit, friendship, love, learning, style and deep mind while traveling a continent.”


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