art by donald langosy
Jack Allen Shafer was born in San Bernardino, California on January 15, 1945. He was raised in Pasadena. He lived for five years in Japan and Okinawa and was fluent in Japanese.
Jack joined the Air Force in 1967, and spent time in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971. He left the Air Force to pursue a career as a computer programmer, and finally retired from the Los Angeles City Fire Department where he was a senior systems analyst.
Jack was introduced to poetry by a friend who took him to his first poetry reading. He eventually wrote a poem and was immediately addicted. Jack became a favorite featured performer at most Southern California venues, produced one-man shows and recorded a CD of his work at the Holly Matter Modern Gallery entitled Jack! Live at the Holly Matter. Jack also authored a collection of poetry There is a Season.
Jack had lived in western Missouri until his recent move back to Arvin, California. He remained active in the L.A. poetic community through failing health until his passing on April 4, 2004. He had a powerful influence on many poets and spoken word artists of both young and old. He will be sorely missed.