Wandering poets reflect on decades wonderingPosted Jan 31, 2013 By Richard Turtle
EMC News -Marmora - A pair of local poets were joined by about a dozen fellow artists and word lovers last week at the Marmora Inn Bed and Breakfast on Bursthall Street for the double book launch of two new works.
Chris Faiers and Jim Christy offered a little insight into their nomadic life experiences with a casual evening of reading from their respective books Eel Pie Island Dharma: A hippie memoir/haibun and Sweet Assorted.
For Faiers, Eel Pie marks his 19th published work, and reflects on his wanderings as a young adult after leaving the United States during the Vietnam War draft. A Canadian by birth, Faiers moved to the southern U.S. as a small child, but left for the United Kingdom when young Americans, and dual citizens, were being drafted.
Eventually settling in Hastings County, Faiers served as the Marmora head librarian and then held the same position for more than a decade with the village of Stirling. And he freely admits the release, by area publisher Hidden Brook Press, of a hippie/memoir by this re-tired small town librarian could be a bit of a shocker for some former patrons.
Christy, too, left the U.S. in the late 1960s to avoid the draft, later becoming a Canadian citizen. And he has been observing and writing ever since.
With an extensive list of books already behind him, readings from his latest work, Sweet Assorted, recently published by Anvil, offered a glimpse into a writer's sometimes scattered mind.
Named for a tin box he discovered in a field in 1974 while working as a landscaper nearby, Christy says it came to mind when considering his next work for publication. "I thought, where is that damn box," he says. "That would make a nice book."
And inside that tin box, and between the covers of Sweet Assorted, are some of life's mysteries, oddities and simple points of fact.
Collected over the course of nearly 40 years, and with no particular logic behind any of it, the collection is compelling, fascinating and intrinsically human.
There are ticket stubs and headlines, newspaper clippings and photographs and a box of baby teeth. And each item tells a story of travel or stability, exotic locales or seedy back allies, almost always posing unanswerable questions.
Guests to the dual launch were also treated to some readings from the recently published Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era, which includes work by both Faiers and Christy. As well, Marmora Inn proprietor Ruis Pereira offered a reading of his own work, reflective of his Portuguese birthplace and written in his native language.