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On the Other Side of Paradise


Kent Bowman

A Hidden Brook Press book "On the Other Side of Paradise" by Kent Bowman

Published by

Hidden Brook Press

ISBN - 978-1-897475-52-2


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Kent Bowman Bio Pic

Kent Bowman



Kent Bowman has been composing songs and performing as a guitarist and trombonist for decades. In this, his first major poetry collection, he also joyfully returns to writing words without music.    

Many poems draw upon his passionate social conscience and his witty sense of irony. With a lyricism steady and subdued, Kent invites his readers into Ontario’s cottage country in the book’s opening section.

The animated accounts of his travels in Australia highlight this collection. Informative and sardonic, some of these poems feature hilarious slapstick scenes, such as his personal reports on “Kissing Cane Toads” and “I Did Not Love My Camel.”

 Kent first began writing poems under the mentorship of Ted Plantos in the 1970s in Toronto. He dedicates at least three poems to this inspiring People’s Poet, including the humorous “Since Ted Caught Poetry,” in the book’s closing section, “Ungentrified Memories.” Readers young and old will enjoy Kent’s high-spirited variety show.

 – Steven Michael Berzensky (Mick Burrs)  



About the Author

 Kent Bowman was born in Glendale, California in 1941. His father, Babe Bowman, a professional trombonist, played with Artie Shaw, Alvino Rey and the King Sisters, Bob Hope Show, Wingy Manone, Frank DeVol, Charlie Barnet, Bob Crosby, Gus Arnheim, Frank Trumbauer, Ted Fiorito, Ted Mack and other prominent bands and for Rowan and Martin, Warner Bros., MGM and NBC Studios. Since his teens, Kent has developed his musical skills as a trombonist, guitarist, singer and songwriter. For one year, he studied music at San Francisco State College, played folk music in North Beach, and string bass in a college jazz trio and in a trio at Yellowstone Park.

Arriving in Vancouver, B.C. in 1965, Kent found employment as a teaching assistant at Simon Fraser University and as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Subsequently, he completed a Master’s Degree at Simon Fraser University. In 1970, as half of a folk music duo, The Dusty Road Singers, Kent arrived in Toronto. In addition to singing harmony and playing guitar, he arranged the duo’s music. Following a career as a singer-guitarist in Ontario, he played trombone with the Celebration, Excelsior, and Flicks jazz bands. Recently, Kent has playing with the York Jazz Ensemble; the Music Lovers swing band, Edge of Dixie, and Upper Canada Brass Quintet. He recorded several CDs, including Sequoya; Strings, Sticks & Bones; and New Orleans Will Rise Again and two tunes for Chick Robert’s CD Blue Turning Gray.

 In 1970, Ted Plantos, who led poetry groups and readings at The Gerrard Street Library House in Toronto, encouraged Kent to begin writing poetry. His first collection of poems was entitled Purple Cowboy. Subsequently, he contributed poems to the House Poets’ Anthology. In 1976, a second poetry collection, Glasseaters’ Banquet, was published.

In 2007, Carol Malyon asked Kent to contribute to an anthology of essays on artists and the arts entitled Imagination in Action published by Mercury Press. The article was “The Creative Process (Songwriting, Composing, Writing Poetry).” Asked by Steven Michael Berzensky to contribute a poem to the anthology Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era, published by Seraphim Editions in 2008, Kent wrote “Plate Spinning in America.” In 2009, his “Zen River Memories” poem was included in the anthology And Left a Place To Stand On, from Hidden Brook Press.