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Available Expert - Passing of iconic singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen

Friday, November 11, 2016

Queen's University english professor Robert May is available to comment on the life and legacy of singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. The Canadian-born singer passed away on Nov. 7 at the age of 82, following a nearly 50-year career. Mr. Cohen received countless accolades for his work, including a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as being appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.

"He started out as a poet, whose first collection Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956) established him as a Canadian writer of note - with its crisp lyrics about love and loss, composed when he was barely twenty years old," says Dr. May. "In the 1960s, Cohen’s two experimental novels The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966), with their frank depictions of human sexuality and their relentless probings of spiritual dogma, solidified his reputation as a versatile and controversial new voice in Canadian culture. In his later work, Cohen explores themes of human mortality. In his most recent album, You Want It Darker, released less than a month ago, Cohen grapples with his own impending death while interrogating larger issues of social injustice and humankind’s place in the world."

Dr. May is an associate adjunct professor in the Queen's University Department of English. His research focuses on such topics as modern and contemporary English-language Canadian poetry and writings on human rights and social justice.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) in the Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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