about my novel and poetry writing as a a teenage and young adult YA

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Teen/YA Poet & Novelist

Teenage and YA Poet: He wrote hundreds of poems, some published, many quite excellent, most very good, as a teenager (ages 14 to 20).

YA Novelist: Summer Planets is a sweeping, poetic, and melancholy tale of galactic apocalypse, betrayal, and conspiracies written by a 19-year old college sophomore and published poet age 18) at the University of Connecticut in New England (his first complete, full-length novel).

Professional Writer: Three summers as a college student intern reporter on a regional metro daily newspaper, while attending University of Connecticut an English major. This website is a work in progress. Lots more info soon.

Twenties: Starving Artist, U.S. Army, Europe… By 22, I had my B.A. in English (University of Connecticut) and lived in New Haven for about two years as a starving artist. During that time, I wrote several more novels. I already had well over 300 poems (some published) and added another hundred or so. I made several Kerouac style journeys across the U.S. and Canada, one hitch-hiking about 4,000 miles in all from CT to Salem, OR in the Northwest; then down to Chula Vista, cA on the Mexican border. Next trip, I drove (in a car with a flat tire that needed filling 2 or 3x daily). Such is the adventuresome (determined) life. I settled in Southern California age 24 but joined the U.S. Army and spent the next five years stationed in Cold War Germany. There, I finished my days as a poet, and turned my energies entirely to writing atmospheric, poetic, artsy prose. I had written at least ten novels by the time I returned to CONUS age 31 to start a new life as a surfer, technical writer, and (yes, of course) novelist. For more info, see the Clocktower Books Museum, but preferably stay on this website a while and enjoy some of my poetry. I've collected the poetry from my teen, YA, and NA years in three published volumes. Click the travel-themed picture at right bottom to read one of those poetry volumes free.

Name Game: JTC (for short) was born in Europe, an Army brat, son of a U.S. Army NCO and a Luxembourg expat mother. His birth name, after both grandfathers, is Jean-Thomas. After spending his childhood at installations in several European countries, he was brought to his father's birth city of New Haven, Conn. at age 10. In the English-speaking world, he has always used John T. Cullen for ease of passage. And, readers may notice, when the Internet age began, he was a pioneer digital publisher, using the pen name John Argo. That reflects the sense of wonder about the early Web, before digital money and cyber crime, in honor of another Age of Wonder. That is the Bronze Age, over three thousand years ago, which was remembered a millennium later by Classic Hellenes (Greeks) like Homer, Hesiod, and others. Think of Jason and the Argonauts (literally, 'Argo Sailors') aboard their own ship of wonder, the Argo, cruising on the outer space of their own age, the Aegean and Pontic Seas, in search of the Golden Fleece and other mythic, wonderous adventures. So about John Argo: now you know why. But that is all long after JTC's own age of youth and wonder, when as a teenager and Young Adult (YA) he wrote a wealth of poetry celebrated on this website along with his first full novel now titled Summer Planets, originally Cosmopolis: City of the Universe.

YA Writer: Teenager & Twentysomethinger

425+ Poems and Two YA/NA Novels

click for detailsLyric Poets & Rock Stars. The mission of this website is to celebrate hundreds of poems and two special novels (among the several) written during my teenage and twenties years. I had already written at least ten novels when I returned from a long U.S. Army enlistment in Cold War Germany, where at about age 27 I hung up my poetry hat. That is famously the age range when rock stars and lyric poets flame out, with lyric poets generally no longer writing poetry but turning all that creative artistry into atmospheric, rich, thoughtful prose fiction. It's not always commercially quick & easy for the masses, which is why we have legends of *real* artists starving in garrets, unknown and unrecognized. Well over 1,000 pages of my work sat gathering dust for many years, but I never gave up believing—in the value of those many moments in time captured on restaurant napkins, beer coasters, or high school and college note paper. Poetry is timeless, and I feel that the enthusiasm, talent, and sincerity of that young man deserves its moment in the sun at last. You can help. Poetry works if readers find something in it that stirs their soul. Hope you enjoy some good reading (JTC).

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