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Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Wyn Cooper

[caption id="attachment_874" align="alignleft" width="167" caption="Chaos Is the New Calm by Wyn Cooper"]Chaos Is the New Calm by Wyn Cooper[/caption] BOA poet Wyn Cooper is out on the road promoting his new collection, Chaos Is the New Calm,  (What? You haven't read it yet? Well, I guess we can give you a 10% discount on it if you order during our "New Website Launch" promotion going on right now. But don't tell anyone.) But I digress. Wyn's readings are always full of charm, banter, and lots of great stories from his fascinating life. Did you know that he wrote the lyrics to Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" song? Yep, that was him. Musical collaborator with Madison Smartt Bell? He's the guy. Dated Madonna in high school and cast her in her first indepedent film? Check. Novelist Suzanna Kingsbury recently introduced Wyn for a book launch reading and playfully summed up the life, times, and experiences of BOA poet Wyn Cooper (and being with Wyn Cooper). ----------------- I was hip hopping around Asia when Sheryl Crow’s song, All I Wanna Do made its omnipresent debut on the radio. Even the barefoot Sri Lankans in sarongs eating hot curry were singing it.  Little did I know that a few years later I would meet Wyn Cooper, the poet who wrote it, in our very own little town, and that I would then, second hand anyway, know practically everyone. All I Wanna Do has a dangerous, illicit story behind it that I won’t tell here because it involves drugs and death threats, but if you are lucky enough to know Wyn, such stories crop up like dandelions, many of them involving famous people he has known, or dated.  I was talking about Madonna at dinner one night when Wyn said casually, Oh, I dated her in high school. He has also stayed up late participating in illegal activities with Martin Amis, hangs out with Galway Kinnell pretty regularly, just happened to buy a house right down the street from Saul Bellow and his music can be heard on a myriad of television programs and films, including True Blood and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Once he let me wear the Grammy necklace he got with Sheryl Crow and snapped my picture to show me what I looked like when I felt famous, which is really only when I hang out with Wyn Cooper. You might think, in the world of publishing nepotism, that it is no small wonder he has been anthologized over 25 times and appeared in over 60 prestigious magazines with now four critically acclaimed books to his name, but who Wyn knows is only a flimsy storefront  cut out compared to the depth of his writing, the profundity of his poetry.  In his work it is often the white space that swallows the reader, that makes her feel brand new again, his poetry contains irony that makes us laugh at something that just a minute ago seemed so sad.  Though Wyn has great control of the written word, he begs off the constraints of his genre and plays, plays with rhyme, plays with form.  The beauty of his images can be so astounding your legs wobble and just when you are about to weep at the profound emptiness in a world turning to chaos, he allows you transcendence in a single word: beer. But I will not spoil the text for you, for though we will hear the poet read his work tonight, and it is powerful to have his own voice ringing in our ears, these fifty poems are perhaps best enjoyed in quiet, in the space where chaos does not exist, where the lines seem to point back again and again to the reader, like a mirror,  and to give this quiet directive: Do not forget yourself.  Which is best done, of course, when there are no famous people around.   Please give a very big welcome to Wyn Cooper

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