The collection will include mostly new material, according to the publisher, Canongate. Cohen’s former manager and the trustee of his estate, Robert Kory, said in a statement that completing The Flame was one of the artist’s main objectives prior to his death. He culled material from unpublished poems, selections from his notebooks that commented on “the flame and how our culture threatened its extinction,” said Kory.
Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist before turning to music. His first book, Let Us Compare Mythologies, came out in 1956, followed by The Spice-Box of Earth (1961) and Flowers for Hitler (1964). His first album as a singer-songwriter came out in 1967, when he was in his early thirties.
In addition to prose pieces, illustrations and intimate sections of his notebooks, The Flame will include the full lyrics of his three final albums and lyrics he wrote for Blue Art, by frequent collaborator, Anjani, Canongate said.
On November 6th, Lana Del Rey, Elvis Costello, Sting, Philip Glass, Feist and Cohen’s son Adam will be among the artists to perform at Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen at Montreal’s Bell Center.