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John Simon ’64

John Simon ’64, an educator and poet renowned for his artistry and activism, died Jan. 16, 2018.

The author of nine full-length volumes of poetry, John won many plaudits for his work, including prestigious fellowships with the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Berkeley Poetry Festival.

Named 2013’s River of Words Teacher of the Year by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, John loved to share his gift, especially with children, and helped lead the People’s Community School in Berkeley, California Poets in the Schools, and Poetry Inside Out.

To quote his Berkeleyside tribute by J.D. Moyer, “John Oliver Simon touched the lives of thousands with his teaching, friendship, and poems. Mexican poet Alberto Blanco wrote, ‘The poems of John Oliver Simon, like all true poems, trace a map, a psychography, which allows us to enter, not only into another life but into the voyage of that life, and not only into another culture, but into other cultures: into another point of view.’”

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