Leonard Cohen: The Flame

Credit Old Ideas

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Discover the last word from the late Leonard Cohen on National Poetry Day

The Flame, written in the months before his death in 2016, showcases Cohen's full range of lyricism, combining poetry, illustrations and writings. Celebrate his life and work with an evening of readings and discussion with fans from the worlds of music and literature. 

Speakers include Rob Hallett (via videolink), tour manager and friend to Cohen, writer and lyricist Polly Samson, and singer and songwriter Kathryn Willams, who has curated memorable recent tribute events. Hosted by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.

The Flame is a stunning collection of Leonard Cohen's last poems and writings, selected and ordered by Cohen in the final months of his life. The book contains an extensive selection from his notebooks, featuring lyrics, prose pieces and illustrations, which he kept in poetic form throughout his life, and offers and unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist and thinker. By turns devastingly sad and winningly strange, these are the works of a poet and lyricist who has plumbed the depths of our darkest questions and come up wanting, yearning for more.

Leonard Cohen began his artistic career in 1956 with the publication of his first book of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies. He went on to publish 12 more books, including two celebrated novels, and gained worldwide recognition as an iconic singer-songwriter. He released 14 studio albums, including three in the last year of his life when he also became one of the most acclaimed arena performing artists in the world.

Among his numerous honours, he is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature 2011, the inaugural New England PEN Award for Excellence in Lyrics 2012, the 2016 Juno Awards for Song of the Year and Album of the Year, and he has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the US Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in November 2016.

Image: Leonard Cohen, courtesy of Old Ideas

Season of Sound supported by


Name: Leonard Cohen: The Flame
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £15.00
Member: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Student: £10.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546