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Leonard Cohen (1934-       )

Leonard Cohen spent his formative years in Montreal's affluent Westmount district. Shortly after he graduated from McGill University, Contact Press introduced the new McGill Poetry Series of first poetry collections with Cohen's Let us compare mythologies (1956). His second book, The spice box of earth (1961) followed graduate work at Columbia University in New York, labour in his family's clothing business, and composition of an unpublished novel. His second work of fiction, The favorite game was published in 1963. It was at this time that Cohen began to spend a good part of each year abroad on the island of Hydra, Greece. His burgeoning career as a singer-songwriter coincided with the publication of Flowers for Hitler (1964), Parasites of heaven (1966) and the novel Beautiful losers (1966). Subsequent poetry collections, although mostly overshadowed by his recordings, include The energy of slaves (1972), and Death of a lady's man (1978). Both Michael Ondaatje and Stephen Scobie have written critical studies on Cohen.