His first collection of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies, was published in 1956, followed by The Spice Box of Earth in 1961. After traveling throughout Europe, he settled on the Greek island of Hydra, where he stayed for seven years. There he wrote another collection of poetry, Flowers for Hitler (1964), and two novels, The Favorite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). In 1967, Cohen moved to the United States to pursue a career as a folk musician. In 1994, Cohen retreated to the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles, beginning what became five years of seclusion at the center. In 1996, Cohen was ordained as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monk and took the Dharma name "Jikan", meaning "silence".
During his lifetime he recorded 14 studio albums. A tribute album with 18 songs was released in 1991, featuring R.E.M., John Cale, Nick Cave, Ian McCulloch, Pixies, The House Of Love and Lloyd Cole among others. John Cale's cover of the song "Hallelujah" on this album served as the basis for the version released by Jeff Buckley in 1994.
Inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 (Performer)
Inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010
Published by Stranger Music, Inc.
- 42 Vocals
- 41 Instruments & Performance
- 1796 Writing & Arrangement
- 12 Featuring & Presenting
- 35 Production
- 5 Technical
- 19 Visual
- 13 Acting, Literary & Spoken