Allen Cohen was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. His search for the inner and outer Grail led him to San Francisco in the early 60s, where he founded and edited the legendary San Francisco Oracle, the psychedelic, rainbow hued underground newspaper published in the Haight-Ashbury. He also helped originate rites of passage like the Human-Be-In in the Haight. From 1968-75 he lived on a rural commune, learned midwifery, and in 1970 wrote the first of the new wave of books on natural childbirth, Childbirth Is Ecstasy. He returned to San Francisco in 1975 and worked in the peace movement on the steering committee of the Peace and Environmental Coalition. In 1981 he wrote The Reagan Poems, prophesying the personal and social effects of the Reagan years. He has continually performed his poetry at music concerts, colleges, museums and coffeehouses.

In 1986 he was chosen by the San Francisco Art Commission to help organize and jury its first SF Art Festival Poetry Day. From 1981- 1987 he served on the Board of Directors of Imagine Nine Inc., a non-profit organization that produced concerts to raise money for charities. From 1988-1991 he worked with Regent Press in Oakland, Ca. to publish a commemorative Facsimile Edition of the complete San Francisco Oracle in order to preserve its fading glory for posterity..

In 1991 he guest edited an issue of The City magazine, a monthly San Francisco urban magazine, as a 25th Anniversary Oracle with new works by many of the writers and artists who were in the original Oracle. Since the early 80s he has been presenting his multi-image slide show The Rise and Fall of the Haight-Ashbury in the 60s in theaters and universities. In 1995 he authored a CD-Rom, The Haight Ashbury in the 60s.

In 1997 he was asked to be a judge for the Bay Guardian Poetry Contest. He is working on a poetry book, The Book of Hats, w/ illustrations by Ann Cohen, and a political book that takes a shot at reconstructing American politics and a children's computer fantasy book, The Secret of Tomato Sauce, also illustrated by Ann Cohen. He is working now as managing editor on Open City, a new San Francisco magazine. He and his wife, Ann, have a preschool in their home in Walnut Creek, Ca.