Home page: www.syukhtun.net
I was born in San Bernardino, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, in 1949 and grew up in southern California. Much of what I write has to do with California, an attempt to correct the universal misunderstanding about my birthplace, even by people who themselves grew up there. Most people in Los Angeles could not tell you the name of the culture which thrived on that site for thousands of years. At the time of Columbus, California had the highest population density on the continent. Such variety and congestion of languages in such a small geographic area is only known in Sudan and New Guinea.
I began surfing in junior high school and was so possesed by this art that I was bound and determined to devote my life to it. After high school I moved to the coast and had no plans for the future other than surfing. Gradually Art began to take a higher priority – painting, writing, music. I enrolled at Long Beach State College where I studied English, philosophy, visual art and continued with my three years of French from high school. I began to feel that college was not a place to study Art and left for New York, where I lived one year. I chose the arena of life for my studies over that of the university, and have paid dearly for being self-taught by not being taken seriously by academics. (Little does it help to inform them that Shakespeare made do with an elementary school education.)
I began reading Baudelaire and Rimbaud in French years before delving into American poetry. This delay was lengthened by a residence of two years in France, where I began a long adventure into French poetry, and the sublime music of this language. Becoming deeply fascinated with words and languages eventually takes the poet into a realm which is uninteresting to ordinary readers, and therefore to publishers. After fruitless decades of trying to find a publisher, and understanding that my prose and poetry were not lucrative projects for a publisher, I became a self-publisher.
I met my Swedish wife in Nice in 1973 and moved to Stockholm, where I have lived nearly 35 years. Along with my commitment to her, as well as to poetry, prose, and 27 years of daily training tai chi and meditation, I have played the guitar since I was ten. (I regard myself, however, as primarily a painter.) As a writer and composer of music I am very much guided by a painter’s instinct for tone, nuance, balance and composition, which I see as parallels to the identical concepts in music theory and poetry. I have contacted WritersNet specifically because Theophany, a book which I have spent 27 years writing, is finally finished and I seek an agent or a publisher or both.
Interests: Poetry, prose, painting, printmaking, classical guitar (playing and composing), Native Californian cultures, tai chi, surfing
Published writer: Yes