Book celebrates the Poets of Rock and Roll

June 30, 2004

A book focusing on the work of 1960s singer-songwriters Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen has been launched in Cardiff - on the day Dylan played a concert in the city.

Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock and Roll was launched at Blackwell's University Bookshop, Cardiff.

The author, Professor David Boucher of the School of European Studies at Cardiff University, draws on his own expertise in political thought and idealism, as well as a love of popular music to produce a book which will appeal to the general reader and an academic audience.

"Both Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are icons of the Sixties and described as spokesmen of their generation," said Professor Boucher. "Both were described as poets and helped transform pop music into something more literary."

Both singers went through significant transformations, and were regarded as traitors by their original followers. "Many people suggest the radical shift in Dylan's music was from acoustic to electric, but I suggest it was the rejection of the communitarian, 'caring, sharing' folk tradition and the adoption of the radical individualistic and nihilistic culture of the Beat poets." Cohen was already an established prize winning poet and novelist before he consciously decided to move his poetry from the page to the jukebox, inviting a barrage of criticism from his fellow poets.

The book was launched by Michael Jones, Director of the MBA in the Music Industry at Liverpool University and the lyricist with Latin Quarter whose hits included Radio Africa.

Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock and Roll by David Boucher is published by Continuum books of New York at £15.-99.

Cardiff University

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