EXCERPTS FROM SHARDS OF CRYSTAL

 

“I am a body that possesses / limited cognition – / an integral / but trivial speck / of infinity.” ~ I Am

 

“sanctuary from the unchained dragon down the block – / jade eyes flashing as it swoops on bony wings, / red reptilian scales / of spent syringes / and inverted bottles / bristling in a frenzy / to gorge on the festering -” ~ Yin and Yang

 

“A trembling sun drips / beads of molten gold / onto disc-shaped pebbles / washed smooth by the surf / that ebbs and flows / with the sensual rhythms / of love-making,” ~ Neruda on the Beach at Capri

 

“They come with casseroles in hand / and hugs that echo through my hollowness –" ~ Shiva Call

 

“The sun streams through windows / blanketing me with its radiance – / an energizing rebirth / even for the padded paws / scrambling to greet me / with sloppy kisses / and welcome a new day.” ~ Morning Rapture

 

“Inky swells heave – / the rhythmic breathing / of sapphire seas / crested with / flashes / of gold / as the sun sinks / below the horizon / and drowns the waters / in darkness.” ~ Sapphire Seas

 

“ghosts of morning mist / hover above still waters / overturned canoe” ~ Mourning Mist Haiku

 

"Body encrusted with dried mud, / scales lose their traction / rendering the snake immobile; / unable to escape, it slowly bakes. / The mighty anaconda heaves in agony, / reptilian head thrust backward, / gaping jaws raised towards the sky; / silent screams / rage against its earthen prison” ~ Anaconda

 

“Surly leaden clouds surrender muted beams of light, / Revealing a barely discernable pinpoint adrift, / Spied by weary seagulls buffeted by winds in midflight, / It's a fisherman bravely casting a net from his skiff.” ~ Lake Winnipeg

 

“even the dogs / have refrained from yelping – / they whimper in their sleep / while their feet twitch / as they chase imaginary rabbits.” ~ Escape

 

“a spray of letters and syllables / coalesce into droplets of words - / iridescent sounds tinkle / trickling into an ephemeral pool / of stanza and verse” ~ conception

 

"I think of the souls / who whisper their secrets / trying to explain / their spectral existence, / frustrated - / the dead / without words." ~ Noche tras noche / Night After Night
 

 

 

 

SELECTED FEATURED GUEST READINGS & TALKS

 

Coffee, Cake and Cultural Anthropology - OJCC, Kelowna BC (upcoming)
 
Memorable Meal Segment - Radio West on CBC Radio One, recorded in Kelowna BC
 
Mandarin Poetry Reading for Spring Lantern Festival 2020 - Okanagan Chinese Canadian Association, Parkinson Recreation Apple Hall, Kelowna BC
 
Mandarin Poetry Reading for Chinese New Year 2020 - Okanagan Chinese Baptist Church, Kelowna BC
 
Central Okanagan Retired Teachers Association - Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna BC
 
Culture Days and the Kelowna Arts and Culture Festival 2019, "Poetry as Compact Storytelling" - Rotary Centre for the Arts Mary Irwin Theatre, Kelowna BC
 
Culture Days and the Kelowna Arts and Culture Festival 2019, "Yes, Her Poetry Really Is in Orbit around Mars" Poetry Consultation - Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna BC
 
The Kelowna Characters Book Club - Kelowna BC
 
OJCA - Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel, Kelowna BC
 
Society for Learning in Retirement - The Martin Centre, Kelowna BC
 
The Shaftesbury - Shaftesbury Park Residence, Winnipeg MB
 
Federation of BC Writers - BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, Vancouver BC
 
Royal City Literary Arts Society - Poetic Justice / Poetry New West, New Westminster BC
University of British Columbia Okanagan and Inspired Word Café Milkcraters of the Moon Reading Series Open Mic - Milkcrate Records, Kelowna BC
 
AlleyCATS Alliance - Okanagan School of the Arts, Shatford Centre for Arts & Culture, Penticton BC
 
Poetic Portions - Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery, Vancouver BC
 
Private Function - The Gates on Roblin, Winnipeg MB
 
Speak Easy - SOPA Fine Arts Gallery, Kelowna BC
 
Okanagan Institute - Bohemian Café, Kelowna BC
 
Concordia University - Les 3 Minots, Montréal QC
 
National Council of Jewish Women, New York Section - Jewish Women's Resource Centre, New York NY
 
Private Function - Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg MB
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the official Fern G. Z. Carr website highlighting the work of this contemporary Canadian poet. Carr is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Federation of BC Writers. She is a former lawyer, teacher and past president of both the Kelowna branch of the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society. Published extensively worldwide from Finland to Mauritius, she composes and translates poetry in six languages including Mandarin. Her poetry collection, Shards of Crystal, was released by Silver Bow Publishing in November 2018. Carr is deeply honoured to have one of her poems currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

 

SHARDS OF CRYSTAL

"Shards of Crystal is where precision and compassion meet to leave readers in awe as brokenness enters light. Carr is a classic poet who will stand the test of time."

- Cynthia Sharp - Federation of BC Writers Director, Poet and Author

 

"This one shines. Hard to define, but the messages, the words, the phrasing, the layout, caught my attention immediately. I was feeling the emotions, the tension, the disappointments, the anguish, the depths, the uplifts. I could relate to so many of these pieces."

- Richard L. Coles, Editor and Author

 

"A powerful reminder of the value of life and existence in all its nuances and dualities. I highly recommend it."

- Stephen Karr, BC Library Association LTAS Member at Large, Poet and Reviewer

 

"Shards of Crystal aims to be steady, uncompromising, and rejects easy truths. You will find the news about life here."

- Carmelo Militano - Poetry Radio Show Host, Poet and Writer

 

"Carr's presentations come highly recommended."

- Central Okanagan Retired Teachers Association (CORTA)

 

A METAMORPHOSIS OF DARKNESS TO LIGHT THAT MOVES READERS TO THE BRINK THEN SNATCHES THEM BACK

Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Silver Bow Publishing

ISBN 978-1-927616-96-3

 

Honours

Poetry Orbiting Mars

Carr was one of the winners of NASA's Going to Mars with MAVEN Contest. (The acronym, MAVEN, stands for "Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution". Its mission is to study the upper atmosphere surrounding Mars.) Winning entries were burned to a DVD which was affixed to the spacecraft and now is in permanent orbit around that planet - a publication credit that literally is "out of this world".

Carr's haiku is currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

 

The World's Lawyer Poets

Biographical listing in The World's Lawyer Poets included in Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry - This database is based on research conducted by Professor James R. Elkins, College of Law, West Virginia University. Subsequently, Carr's poetry was assigned reading for the West Virginia University College of Law course, Lawyers, Poets, and Poetry.

 

Concorso Il Meleto di Guido Gozzano

A winner of Il Premio Nazionale di Letteratura "Il Meleto di Guido Gozzano" 4° Edizione (Sezione Autori di Lingua Straniera) for her poem in English and her Italian translation, Carr was one of four poets chosen for Canada in this international competition. Contest organizers did a public reading of her poem in Italy which happened to coincide with the time of the MAVEN launch. When they did the reading, they also announced the Mars win to a cheering audience.

 

Poem of the Month for Canada

Pierre Desruisseaux, the former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, selected Carr's poem, "I Am", as Poem of the Month for Canada.

 

Prakalpana Literary Movement

Carr has been cited as a contributor to India's Prakalpana Literary Movement for some of her visual poetry - one of her eclectic styles. She has also been included in AngelHouse Press' worldwide database of women visual poets.

 

Pushcart Prize Nominee

"Cool Jazz", was a poem that Carr wrote on a music staff with treble and bass clefs. The Worcester Review nominated her for a Pushcart Prize for that poem. The Puschart is a pretigious American literary prize honouring the best poetry (and other literary categories) published over the course of the previous year. Editors worldwide may only submit up to a maximum of six pieces published during that period of time.

 

Former League of Canadian Poets Poet-in-Residence

The Poet-in-Residence program was designed by the League of Canadian Poets to mentor young writers. Carr was one of the poets to serve in this capacity.

 

Airdropped Poetry

As a participant in part of a peace initiative, Spring Poetry Rain, Carr's poetry was airdropped over the checkpoint dividing the city of Nicosia, Cyprus in two. This event was sponsored by two cultural organizations: Idoegramma and Sidestreets. It was televised and the public was entertained with music and poetry.

 

Poetry Performed by Juno-Nominated Musician

A winner of The Great Canadian Haiku Contest, judged by the Poet Laureate of London, Ontario - Carr's poems were set to music by Juno-nominated singer-composer, Royal Wood and performed by him at London's Home County's Folk Festival. The concert was broadcast live on CHRW Radio as the audience sang along and clapped to Carr's lyrics.

 

Features and Exhibits

In addition to having her poetry included in various peace and literary exhibits, Carr's work has been featured in various venues:

Long-term exhibit of Carr's background poetry collection curated by The Society for Learning in Retirement

The Globe and Mail online arts section

"Lumière sur" spotlight by Sipay, a Seychelles international poetry journal

Carr's poetry taught in some Seychelles and American schools

Shards of Crystal chosen as Poetry Super Highway bookstore featured book

Poetry Super Highway Poet of the Week

Radio Winchcombe (England) broadcast

Poetry translated (by others) and published - German, Tatar Runes, Arabic, and Cyrillic Scripts

Published in a book featuring prominent Canadian poets including Leonard Cohen, Bliss Carman and Irving Layton

Featured solo guest performer at the Rotary Centre for the Arts Mary Irwin Theatre - Culture Days/Arts and Culture 2019 Festival

Two Mandarin language poetry readings for Chinese New Year 2020 and the Spring Lantern Festival 2020

ABC Bookworld listing - a reference site for BC literature and authors (see Contacts section for links to other listings)

Volunteer Spotlight for her work in the promotion of literacy.

 

Other Contests and Recognition

Seven different Ohio Poetry Day contests - Ohio Poetry Association and Heidelberg University

Author's Choice Award - poetry selected by a prominent Canadian writer, poet and playwright, from 84 issues of a journal

Editor's Choice Award - James Ward Kirk Publishing

"Best Of" Kind of a Hurricane Press

First place Newport Review Writing Contest - judged by Poet Laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts Poet Laureate

Poetry Super Highway's Poetry Prompt Contest

Contemporary Literary Review India Christmas Theme Contest

Crow Toes Quarterly We're Just Winging It Here Poetry Contest

Geist Sentence Invitational

Honorable Mentions - World Haiku Review Shintai Category and Inner Sins Magazine Cross Words Contest

Western Canada Judge for Manitoba Book Awards Manitoba Writers' Guild Lansdowne Poetry Prize / Prix Lansdowne de poésie - judging both English and French books

Adjudicated The League of Canadian Poets Poetic License Contest for Youth

Western Canadian Judge - Ford & Jaguar Automotive Journalist of the Year Awards for two consecutive years

 

Wikipedia Page

To read Carr's Wikipedia page, please click Wikipedia: Fern G. Z. Carr

 

 

Locations Published

Light Purple - States Published

Published in 39 out of 50 states - only 11 more to go!

 

Australia - New South Wales: Newcastle; West Hoxton Victoria: Geelong Western Australia: Perth

Austria - Puchberg

Canada - Alberta: Edmonton British Columbia: Kelowna; Lantzville; Nanoose Bay; New Westminster; Penticton; Richmond; Vancouver Manitoba: Miami; Winnipeg New Brunswick: Fredericton Newfoundland: Moreton's Harbour Ontario: Cobalt; Kingston; London; New Liskeard; Ottawa; Tecumseh; Toronto; Waterloo; Windsor Québec: Montréal Saskatchewan: Battleford; Regina; Swift Current

China - Chengdu, Sichuan; Hong Kong

Cyprus - Nicosia

England - Bicester; Cambs; Leeds; London; Manchester; Winchcombe

Finland - Vantaa

France - Le Reposoir, Haute-Savoie; Nantes; Paris; Toulouse

Germany - Kassel

Holland - Amsterdam

India - Maharashtra: Pimpri National Capital Territory of Delhi: New Delhi Punjab and Haryana States: Chandigarh Uttar Pradesh: Anupshahr West Bengal: Calcutta

Ireland - Riverside, County Sligo

Israel - Jerusalem; Metulla

Italy - Agliè; Turin

Malawi - Zomba

Mauritius - Quatre Bornes

Mayotte Island (Mozambique Channel) - Mamoudzou

Mexico - San Miguel de Allende

Morocco - Tetouan

Nepal - Kathmandu

New Zealand - Auckland

Nigeria - Lagos

Peru - Lima

Philippines - Taguig City

Romania - Constanta

Scotland - Rothesay

Seychelles - Victoria

Singapore - Singapore

South Africa - Cape Town; Pretoria

Spain - Madrid

Sweden - Gothenburg

Thailand - Banglamung

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

USA - Alabama: Birmingham Alaska: Anchorage Arizona: Tuscon Arkansas: Conway California: Berkeley; Del Mar; Los Angeles; Palm Springs; Pasadena; Rancho Santa Margarita; San Francisco; San Jose; San Pedro Colorado: Boulder; Denver; Wheat Ridge Connecticut: New Haven Florida: Daytona Beach; Tampa Illinois: Arthur; Champaign; Glenview Indiana: Anderson; Indianapolis; Muncie Iowa: Shellsburg Kansas: Overland Park Kentucky: Louisville Louisiana: Metairie Maine: Portland Maryland: Hagerstown Massachusetts: Boston; Somerville; Worcester Michigan: Lansing Minnesota: Perham; St. Paul; Winona Missouri: Maryville Montana: Helena Nevada: Las Vegas New Hampshire: Keene New Jersey: Passaic; Princeton New Mexico: Albuquerque; Santa Fe New York: Astoria; Franklin Square, Long Island; Jamaica; Mt. Hope; Mt. Marion; New York City; Northport, Long Island; Oakdale, Long Island North Carolina: Asheville North Dakota: Fargo Ohio: Tiffin Oregon: Beaverton; Grants Pass; Portland Pennsylvania: Bethlehem Rhode Island: Newport South Carolina: Charleston South Dakota: Brookings Texas: Abilene; Fort Worth; Houston; Rockport; Waco Virgina: Centreville; Norfolk; Spring Hill Washington: Lacey; Seattle West Virginia: Morgantown Wisconsin: Madison

Wales - Penyrheol, Caerphilly

~ AND ~

Mars

 

 

Reviews 

Launched! New titles by FBCW members - WordWorks - Spring 2019

 

PostScript Magazine - Spring 2019

 

Full Review of Shards of Crystal on the League of Canadian Poets Website (Click this link to view)

 

"Fern G. Z. Carr's poems stand out in terms of imagery and creativity but even more so for her ability to elicit strong emotion from the reader. Poetry often does this, but Ms. Carr takes it to the next level - the poems of hers that I read left me angry, saddened, and horrified. But countering that were several poems that invoked whimsy and softness and delight. It's truly a skilled poet who can explore the breadth of emotions while going as deep as she goes. I am thrilled to be able to include her work in A Quiet Shelter There."

- Gerry Leen ~ Guest Editor, Hadley Rille Books

 

"By turns elegant and whimsical, Fern G. Z. Carr creates original forms for her work that are organic to the poems, as well as precise, imaginative, and intriguing. She makes compelling poetry out of scientific fact, and we've been very pleased to include her voice multiple times in Verse Wisconsin." 

- Wendy Vardaman ~ Former Co-editor, Verse Wisconsin

 

"Being multilingual, Carr has a unique voice that she takes full advantage of.  She has an incredible message to deliver to her audience and the structure with which she delivers it is just as incredible." 

- Dr. Stacia Neeley Campbell ~ Editor, Aries (Texas Wesleyan University)

 

"Fern G. Z. Carr's poem 'Charm (a.k.a. Putting a Spin on Things)', one of the quark-named poems included in our joint issue on literature and science, stood out for its playful tone, its language, and the freshness of approach.  We liked that it made more than coincidental use of the particle fictions theme, though you don't have to fully understand the science to enjoy the poem." 

- Kim Jernigan (The New Quarterly) & Anita Lahey (Arc Poetry Magazine) ~ Co-editors, The QuArc Issue

 

"If Carr were not a poet, I imagine that she might be a potter, taking dull clumps of ordinary clay and transforming them into fascinating, polished and quirky pieces of art.  She certainly achieves a similar effect with language.  Carr clearly revels in the possibilities of language and through her poems, this joy becomes contagious.  Indeed, Carr's poetry has the delightful ability to take that which is familiar - even mundane - and refract that knowledge in wonderfully strange ways.  Innovative, yet free of pretensions, Carr's unique use of language and form invites us to enter a wonderland of the everyday in which we discover ourselves surrounded by more: more beauty, more charm and more humour." 

- Dr. Anne-Marie Lee-Loy ~ Editor, White Wall Review (Ryerson University)

 

"What strikes me the most about Ms. Carr's craft is that as a translator of her own poems - as well as others' - she manages this delicate task with ease and is able to distil this almost-psychic ability in a cogent manner. Translating is extremely demanding yet Fern G. Z. Carr is a powerful symmetrist.  The poems I had the opportunity to read had a strange effect on me:  Carr allows you to see in the dark and experience the unbelievable. She has always transported me, as she will transport you, to new depths of thought and emotion with her powerful style." 

- Walter Ruhlmann ~ Translator, Writer, Publisher and Editor mgversion2>datura

 

"Through the poems of Fern G. Z. Carr, I experience a voice in which disparate elements are musically reconciled.  I experience the loveliness of a Chinese garden coupled compassionately with a skid-row street.  I witness the spirituality of the dawn combined with the animal joy of the cat.  I am drawn into the Whitman-esque union of infinite space and nearby grass.  Hers is a poetry of searching elevation and familiar concreteness." 

- William Reyer ~ Professor of English and Department Chair (Heidelberg University); Ohio Poetry Day State Contest Chair

 

 

Interviews

 

University of Winnipeg - P.I. New Poetry on CKUW 95.9 FM

 

poetry mini interviews - A series of 6 weekly interviews on Thursdays from Apr. 4 to May 9, 2019

 

Kelowna Now - In Focus - May 7, 2019 feature about Fern G. Z. Carr

 

Goodreads - Ask the Author: Fern G. Z. Carr Q & A

 

Whole Terrain - Antioch University

 

Words With Writers W3 Sidecar 

 

The Eyeopener - Ryerson University

 

The Centrifugal Eye - 2 interviews

 

Room

 

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) television interview with Carr (in French)

 

Madame Perry's Salon - Blog Talk Radio Show

 

CBC Radio West - Most Memorable Meal Segment

 

 

Sample Poems

"Yin and Yang" Reading

 

League of Canadian Poets - Poetry Pause Mar. 25, 2019 - Convergence (A poem from Shards of Crystal)

 

one sentence poems - Jack

 

Antarctica Journal - Bodies Exhibit

 

Ekphrastic - Venus de Milo - A Farewell to Arms

 

Scarlet Leaf Review - Snapshots

"with bombastic swagger/and the braggadocio / of corncob rows / of bleached teeth / mugging behind / artificially parted lips / ventriloquist-like / speaking in goudas, bries, / emmenthals and gruyères,"

 

Coldnoon Travel Poetics - Under Cerulean Skies

"where the babel below / evanesces into archways / and walls awash / with patterned ceramic tiles – / under cerulean skies / resplendent in their golds, / greens, whites and blues / glistening in the glory / of the African sun"

 

Bones II - Are Ya Feelin' Lucky

"your dessicated bones / exposed / to the bleakness of eternity, / unaware of the trees beside you / swaying drunkenly in the wind,"

 

Dirtcakes - Lockdown - This Is Not a Drill

“silence, / total darkness / except for the flickering / of fluorescent-blue lights / as little fingers typed / terse text messages on their cell phones / while they huddled under desks"

 

mgversion2 - Temptress

"a place where eternity is found among the coral and seaweed -"

 

 

Sample Translations

(Written and translated by the poet herself)

 

Editorial Cielo Gris - Incertidumbre

 

French - Tentatrice

"chevelure dorée flottante, seins nus, / une queue argentée iridescente caressée par les vagues; / sa bien-aimée guide doucement son amant mortel / partout dans le royaume de Poséidon;"

 

Spanish - Noche tras noche

"cuando las paredes / reflejan las sombras / de los árboles bailando / sensualmente / en la luz de la luna, / pienso en las almas / que susurran sus secretos / tratando de explicar / su existencia espectral,"

 

Italian - Io sono

"Sono entropia – / un assortimento casuale / di ossigeno, carbonio, / idrogeno, azoto / e oligoelementi / dentro un corpo / che esiste / in questo momento, / la sua individualità / organicamente interconnessa / all’universale;"

 

Yiddish - פאַרבלאׇנדזשעט 

יין אומעט איז אַ מעסער אין מיין האַרץ – / האׇב רחמנת אויף זיין שטימונג אַזוי שוואַרץ."

 

Mandarin - 多 少

"多 少 孩 子 们 / 在 工 厂 工 作;/ 他 们 不 玩,/ 他 们 不 跑,/ 他 们 不 笑。 / 多 少 女 人 也 不 能 笑?"

 

 

Readings Gallery

 

 

Philosophy

 

Dear Readers,

On a personal note, I would like to touch upon my philosophy of poetry.  It would be presumptuous to attempt to define the essence of this art.  Poetry is so inherently subjective - one poem can have a profound impact on someone whereas another person might not even bother to finish reading the same piece.

In terms of my work, the poems I write often take on a life of their own.  Although I initially focus on particular topics or ideas, my poems sometimes decide to carry me off in a completely different direction.  That is perfectly fine. I just put myself in the hands of my little abductors and let them take me where they will.  I always fancy the literary ride.

I also enjoy composing poetry in different languages and then translating my poems into English.  I sometimes do the reverse, writing the English version first and then translating it into the foreign language of choice.  Both scenarios are different since every language offers its own rhythms and cadences which bring a certain musicality to the translation.

When I translate the work of other poets, I am always very attentive to nuances of meaning.  One of the advantages of translating my own work though, is that I know exactly what I intended.  This of course is subject to the interpretation of others.  Readers often come up with wonderful analyses that surprise and delight me.

I treasure my collection of poems written by other poets.  They span many eras and traverse many stylistic trends.  I select only the poems which affect me deeply - the pieces that linger in my consciousness long after I have finished reading them.  These poems give me pause to reflect upon the poet's philosophy, ingenuity and mastery of his craft.  Ideally, that is what I hope to achieve with my work.  If I am able to have that kind of effect on even one of my readers, then I will have accomplished what I have set out to do.

 

May your lives shine with poetry,


 

 

Contact

To book poetry readings, presentations, workshops and book club sessions, click the underlined link.

 

Contact Fern G. Z. Carr

 

For further information, click the listings icons below.

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