Wyn Cooper

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Wyn Cooper (born 1957) is an American poet. He is best known for his 1987 poem "Fun", which was adapted by Sheryl Crow and Bill Bottrell into the lyrics of Crow's 1994 breakthrough single "All I Wanna Do"


Cooper was raised in Michigan and later attended the University of Utah and Hollins College.[1]

He has taught at the University of Utah, Bennington College, Marlboro College, and at The Frost Place Festival of Poetry. His most recent book is Mars Poetica (White Pine Press, 2018) His earlier books are Chaos is the New Calm (BOA Editions, 2010), Postcards from the Interior (BOA Editions, 2005), The Way Back (White Pine Press, 2000), and The Country of Here Below (Ahsahta Press, 1987).

Cooper's poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in Poetry, Orion, AGNI, Crazyhorse, and Ploughshares[2] and are included in 25 anthologies of contemporary poetry. One of his poems, Fun, was used for the lyrics of the Sheryl Crow song, 'All I Wanna Do'. Crow's producer Bill Bottrell discovered Cooper's poetry book The Country of Here Below in Cliff's Books, a Pasadena, California used bookstore. Bottrell adapted Fun into the lyrics for her song when Crow could not come up with usable lyrics—earning Cooper considerable royalties, and helping to publicise his book, originally published in a run of only 500 copies in 1987, into multiple reprints.[3][4] He also wrote lyrics for a fictional band in Madison Smartt Bell's novel, Anything Goes. The songs were put to music by Bell, recorded and produced by Don Dixon and released as 40 Words for Fear in 2003.[4] The second Bell and Cooper cd, Postcards Out of the Blue, was based in part on Cooper's book Postcards from the Interior. Their songs have been used on 6 television shows. Cooper has also written and recorded songs with David Broza, David Baerwald, and Jody Redhage.

Cooper has served as editor of Quarterly West and recently worked for the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute, a think tank run by the Poetry Foundation of Chicago. He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where he works as a freelance editor of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and memoir. His website is www.wyncooper.com.


  • The Country of Here Below (Ahsahta Press, 1987)
  • The Way Back (White Pine Press, 2000)
  • Postcards from the Interior (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2005)
  • Chaos is the New Calm (BOA Editions, 2010)
  • Mars Poetica (White Pine Press, 2018)


  1. ^ Cooper, Wyn (2000). The Way Back. Buffalo, NY: White Pine Press. p. 73.
  2. ^ http://www.pshares.org/authors/author-detail.cfm?authorID=310
  3. ^ Cooper, Wyn (1987). "Text of the poem "Fun", from The Country of Here Below". Ahsahta Press. ISBN 0916272346. OCLC 18272513. Archived from the original on 2001-08-31. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
  4. ^ a b "Wyn Cooper: A Serendipitous Career,".

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