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Friday, 13 March 2015

Quinte Arts Council article on Chris Faiers

Umbrella  (Quinte Arts Council's tabloid)

• Spring 2015  page 26


By Gary Mcleod

Zen River Gardens is poetry. Like the promenade
gardens of Japan, it is meant to be seen one landscape
at a time, like a scroll of painted landscapes unrolling.
Structured and unstructured poetry treat words in this
same manner, a scroll of written images unrolling. It
seemed a fitting place to speak with the Poetry Editor for
Umbrella, Chris Faiers.

Nestled near Marmora, at the very source of the Moira
River, even on a cold winter day, Zen River Gardens
is picturesque and serene. It is peaceful and thought-
evoking. Buddha, half buried in the snow, doesn’t seem
to mind. His place is here, overlooking the myriad of
symbols both natural and manufactured, listening to
the soothing sound of the shallow water beginning to
gather the power that will make it the mighty waterway

In addition to writing haiku, lyrical and political poetry,
Chris founded the literary press, Unfinished Monument,
and was a founding member of The Canadian Poetry
Association and Haiku Canada. He is the first recipient of
the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award and founder of
the Purdy Country Literary Festivals (PurdyFests). Chris
bought the piece of land that is Zen River Gardens in
2005. Much of his poetry is created in the shaman shack
that sits perched on a knoll in the midst of the quiet here.

As Umbrella Poetry Editor, Chris likes to gather a
wide range of poetry styles and themes for publication.
You need not worry about your verse being spurned
by him. He feels that “anyone brave enough to put
pen to paper to express their inner thoughts for all to
read is deserving of an audience.” Having been around
the Canadian poetry scene with such greats as Milton
Acorn has given him the refreshing perspective of where
greatness comes from in any literary work. For this
reason, Chris welcomes work from seasoned poets and
newcomers, eager to mentor both if asked.

With our dogs and the photographer in tow, we
wandered Zen River Gardens, our feet breaking through
the layer of thin ice that had formed on the snow,
pausing along the way to discuss poetry and poets,
writers and writing, and of course, the beauty of our
surroundings. Irving Layton once said that Chris’ poems
“have verve, wit, range and rage.” You would think he
was describing the man himself.

a cold winter day
half buried Buddha smiling
talk of poetry

To submit a poem for publication in Umbrella, please
send it to Carol Bauer,

note: The article looks much better in Umbrella, esp. with the accompanying pic of a snow covered Buddha taken by Darren Cole. I was unable to cut & paste the pic or the original lay-out of the article.
The haiku is Gary's   ;  )

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On 2015-03-13, at 1:32 PM, Ed Baker wrote:

thanks for the link to this… a very slick production… well funded.
Does the print version look just the same ?

my piece looks good…. I like how it is presented… just the piece/ no comments or
analysising or critteak-ing. .  thanks for the ride. Nice exposure for you too.


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