Jon Norman (1944-1988), born in New London, CT, was a poet of exceptional ability who sadly died before he could complete the publication of the hundreds of poems he composed in his short but eventful life. He grew up in a beautiful house overlooking the Thames River on Pequot Avenue (next door to Eugene O’Neill’s Monte Cristo Cottage) with his brother Bob, mother Frances and father Victor Norman, who founded the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and conducted it for over 35 years.
Jon left home in his late teens and began an artistic and spiritual quest that took him through Israel, much of Europe, New York’s East Village, Hunter Ashram, Timothy Leary’s Millbrook mansion, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, Los Angeles, Florida and many points in between. A voluminous reader and an omnivorous observer, he loved and lived in the extreme, furiously writing the poems that document his personal journey and that of his generation.
Jon returned to New London in the late 1970s, where he became actively involved with the poetry circle A Letter Among Friends, helping to edit their journal. Here he met his good friend James Stidfole, who has spent many years collecting, selecting and editing the poems for Days of Creativity the definitive collection of the poetry of Jon Norman.
He also met and was a great friend of the poet Gilbert Wesley Purdy, whose “A Memoriam to Jon Norman” adds immensely to this anthology.