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Born in 1938, Steve Kogan grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. He attended Columbia University, where he earned his doctorate in English Literature, and spent his adult life dedicated to teaching and writing.
He was an involved and innovative teacher, devoted to his students, adept at turning fearful, inhibited students into competent writers, using free writing strategies developed by the educator Peter Elbow. Kogan’s style was student centered. Colleagues noted “he always sat among them, not in front of them.” Calm, patient, and deliberate, he was “the guiding spirit” of the innovative Writing Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where students could “start anyplace, and through bringing their true selves into their writing could then begin to make their writing shine." It was a process he had discovered for himself.
Steve Kogan was a prolific writer and his works have appeared in many periodicals such as Academic Questions and Literary Imagination. The Hieroglyphic King: Wisdom and Idolatry in the Seventeenth Century Masque was published by Associated University Presses in 1986. A collection of essays entitled Against the Grain: Essays and Arguments was published posthumously in 2015, expressing his singular, on the ground and deep understanding of arts, letters and life.
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