Poet John Allen Cann on Be More Now Radio

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Originally airs Thursday, October 6, 2022

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KZYX&Z’s Be More Now Welcomes Poet John Allen Cann

On Thursday, Oct 6, from 7-8pm, Be More Now with Blake More features Anchor Bay Poet John Allen Cann. They will be discussing Cann’s poetry and how it expresses itself in his life and community. Topics include being in the moment, finding one’s voice, inspiration and lots of lots of poetry.

Born in Santa Monica, John Allen Cann eagerly acknowledges his first grand enthusiasm began with the arrival of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.  Along with playing shortstop came a fascination with the stats & brief bios on the back  of baseball cards; he considers this the inception of all following passions of study—at times he just wants to turn the world over & see what’s on the other side. The radio by his blue bed entranced him with songs, their lyrics knocked about his head as the figure of the poet gathered a strange, numinous nobility.


Sports in high school was joined by an involvement with the theater; soon he arrived at Cornell University during its years of student unrest, & where he received his B.A. in Theater Arts.  His time in the east proved California the best place for him.  As wordsmithing overtook acting, he earned an M.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State, landing in Santa Barbara afterwards, where Mudborn Press published his first book, Lemurian Rhapsodies.  Here he hosted a poetry show, The Unseen Rose, at KCSB, began Aetheric Press, as well as working with kids & poetry, his livelihood for the next three decades.  His Dinosaurism – An Illuminated Manifesto, & Lunch – An Omnimodal Experience, were both performed before his departure to Sacramento in Orwell’s fateful year, 1984.

In the state’s capitol, he married artist-teacher, Robyn Cota, a true blessing, followed by another, the birth of their son, Dylan. Family camping on the north coast evolved into the good fortune of securing a parcel in Anchor Bay in 2002; building ensued at a modest pace. John Allen began teaching English at Cosumnes River College; surprisingly, he became an assistant scoutmaster while his son earned his Eagle. A central figure in the Sacramento Library’s 2013 award-winning Poe Project, John Allen ordered, introduced & added commentary to The Slender Poe, an anthology of the great American writer’s work.  A volume of his own poetry, The Moon Over Madrid, followed from i street press.  On-campus classes were suspended at CRC in March of 2020—you know why—& he finished his last semester on-line living full-time in Enchanted Meadows.

His study & writing of poetry has been steady for decades, & always he endeavors to be equal to the adage of Wallace Stevens, “Poetry is the scholar’s art.”  His phantom mentors include Heraclitus, Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats, Rilke, & Jeffers. Like many who hold dear the mystery of poetry, he already knows there’s not enough time left to read deeply all the great poems that the world treasures.  But he will keep at that joyful task as he composes his own work at the edge of history.



This show originally airs at 7pm Thursday October 1, 2022 on KZYX&Z 90.7FM Philo, 88.1FM Fort Bragg, and 91.5FM Willits, as well as streams on the web www.kzyx.org

Listen to a replay here when it is available.