Spoiler alert: There is a poem in this book about Kanye West called “Kanye West is not Picasso”! This collection of poems, lyrics, and miscellaneous items (even a text message) is quintessential Leonard Cohen. He poignantly express his dissatisfaction with modern culture and reflects on the past, which he still carries close to his heart.— Tonya
This program is read by Margaret Atwood, Rodney Crowell, John Doe, Jim Fletcher, Ari Fliakos, Maggie Hoffman, Ross Marquand, Will Patton, Seth Rogen, Michael Shannon, and Neela Vaswani.
The Flame is the final collection of the seminal musician and poet, which he was determined to complete before his death.
Just weeks before his death in late 2016, Leonard Cohen told The New Yorker that he was ready for the end to come. He just wanted enough time to put his last book in order. Fortunately, that time was granted. The Flame is Cohen’s eloquent farewell, a valedictory collection of lyrics and poems that maps his singular creative journey. As noted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s citation, “For six decades, Leonard Cohen revealed his soul to the world through poetry and song—his deep and timeless humanity touching our very core.”
In addition to new poems about war, desire, regrets, lamb chops, and hummingbirds, and lyrics from his last three albums, including the chart-topping “You Want It Darker,” The Flame includes carefully selected excerpts from Cohen’s voluminous notebooks, which he kept faithfully over the years. Listeners will hear about the subjects that have always preoccupied Cohen: the dimensions of love, the secret code of existence, and the hope for transcendence in a broken world.
In the words of Cohen’s longtime manager and friend, Robert Kory, The Flame “reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire” to the end.
Margaret Atwood is best known as the author of more than thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including The Blind Assassin, which won the Booker Prize. She has written several other children’s books, including Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radish and Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Will Patton is an Earphones Award-winner and Audie finalist who has narrated works by Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, Don DeLillo, and Ernest Hemingway. He was named Best Voice in Mystery & Suspense by AudioFile magazine in both 2008 and 2009. Patton’s narration of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep earned an Audie for fiction in 2014.
Patton has also won two OBIE awards for best actor for the off-Broadway plays, Sam Shepard's Fool for Love and the Public Theatre production of What Did He See? He's appeared in a host of films including A Mighty Heart with Angelina Jolie, Knucklehead, Brooklyn's Finest, and Dog Days of Summer. His many television credits include The Agency, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 24, and Numb3rs.