C.W. Cannon was raised in New Orleans and attended Orleans Parish public schools. He left New Orleans to study music composition at Northwestern University School of Music, but eventually switched his major to German Language and Literature. While residing in Berlin, he began writing about New Orleans. Since then he has written and published fiction and non-fiction widely, mostly focused on his native New Orleans. His work has appeared in Other Voices, Third Coast, Exquisite Corpse, American Book Review, Constance, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, New Orleans Review, The Rumpus, Situate, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. His work has been anthologized in In Our Own Words: a Generation Defining Itself, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?, Louisiana in Words, andNew Orleans by New Orleans. His novel, Soul Resin (FC2 Press, 2002), a New Orleans ghost story, was hailed by Luis Alberto Urrea as “truly original.” His writing is found most frequently today in The Lens, where he contributes essays on New Orleans culture, the south, and race. His work at The Lensearned him the 2014 New Orleans Press Club award for best column.
He was the 2010-2011 Fulbright Professor of American Civilization at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Sénégal, where he promoted understanding (for himself and others) of the ancient ties uniting New Orleans and the Senegambian region of West Africa. He teaches writing and New Orleans Studies at Loyola University. When at home in Faubourg Marigny with his wife, kids, and animals, he still flirts with the gods.