Name Game

About the Poet: Readers will wonder why they see Jean T. Cullen or Jean-Thomas Cullen in one place, and John T. Cullen in another. And then there is that John Argo question.

the author somewhere, maybe atop the Eiffel Tower. He travels so much, who knows or cares? It's all good.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. He was born a U.S. citizen, with State Department papers to prove it, one of nearly two million born in this manner to parents serving overseas with the U.S. military, State Department, CIA, and other agencies.

After spending his childhood 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. He still finds it useful and fun, when traveling in places like Quebec, France, or the Benelux, to go by Jean or Jean-Thomas.

John Argo… And, readers may note, this other pen name that frequently pops up around his genre fiction, written long after his poetry days were over, and he turned all that creative writing juice loose on the prose pages of his SF and Suspense fiction. When the Internet age began, JTC was enthralled, and instantly became a pioneer digital writer/publisher, using the pen name John Argo. That reflects his Classically trained Sense of Wonder about the early Web, before digital money and cyber crime, in honor of another Age of Wonder. That refers to the Bronze Age, well over three thousand years ago, which came to a crashing halt due to climate change around 1200 BCE. The Bronze Age was remembered with love and awe a millennium later by Classic poets like Homer, Hesiod, and the like; later by Romans like Ovid. In the modern age, Sense of Wonder is a term frequently applied to the best of Speculative Fiction.

So what about Argo? Think of Jason and the Argonauts (literally, 'Argo Sailors') aboard their own ship of wonder, called the Argo. The Argonauts cruised into the outer space of their own age, the Aegean and Pontic Seas, in search of the Golden Fleece and other mythic, wonderous adventures. In homage of all that, which is the foundation of Western civilization, JTC picked the pen name 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. As he began writing it, age 15, he originally titled it Cosmopolis: City of the Universe. He completed the last draft at age 19 while a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, while bunking in Room 310 in McMahon Hall.


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