Cricket (Chris Faiers)
Born: 1948 in Hamilton Mountain Ontario, Canada
Resides: Marmora, Ontario, Canada
E-mail: zenriver (at) sympatico (dot) ca
Chris Faiers has led a picaresque life. Born on Hamilton Mountain, Ontario, Canada in 1948, his family emigrated to the southern U.S. when he was six. Although a Canadian citizen by birth, he was eligible for the draft for the Vietnam War as a resident alien. Chris became an anti-war activist in Miami, Florida, attending demonstrations, organizing a campus group and publishing an underground newsletter. Around 1968 he began writing haiku poetry under the tutelage of Eric Amann, the publisher of Haiku magazine. He left the U.S. forever in June 1969. Chris lived for two years in the largest commune in the United Kingdom, the derelict Eel Pie Island Hotel in Twickenham. Eel Pie Dharma: a memoir/haibun tells the story of his explorations and adventures in the late '60s and early '70s. After three years of street-level poverty Chris returned to Canada in 1972 and joined the anti-imperialist Canadian Liberation Movement. In the CLM Chris met poets Milton Acorn and James Deahl and resumed writing poetry, influenced by Acorn's ability to write accessible and lyrical poetry with a political message. In addition to writing haiku, lyrical and political poetry, Chris founded the literary press, Unfinished Monument, in 1978. He founded The Main Street Library Poetry Readings the following year. Chris was also a founding member of The Canadian Poetry Association, with James Deahl, Shaunt Basmajian and Wayne Ray and a founding member of Haiku Canada, with Eric Amann, George Swede, Margaret Saunders and others. In 1987 Chris was the first recipient of the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award for his book Foot Through the Ceiling (Aya/Mercury Press). He moved to the Kawartha Lakes area of Ontario in 1989. Now retired, he worked as the head librarian/CEO in the villages of Marmora and Stirling. He currently resides in the village of Marmora, Ontario, Canada. He spends his time writing poetry and hiking the remote trails with his shih-tzu-on-steroids familiar, Chase. Chris has coordinated six annual Purdy Country Poetry Festivals at his nearby retreat, ZenRiver Gardens. He is an active blogger at "Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens" (see link at top of page).
Awards and Other Honors: Anthology And Textbook Appearances: Poems for Sale in the Street (Steel Rail Publishing, 1979); The Canadian Haiku Anthology (Three Trees Press, 1979); The Modern English Haiku (Columbine Editions, 1981); The Erotic Haiku Anthology (Black Moss Press, 1983); The Toronto Collection (Manoeuvres Press, 1984); The Unfinished Anthology (Unfinished Monument Press, 1984); Other Channels (Basmajian, Jones, 1984); Anti-War Poems (Vesta Press, 1984); The Haiku Handbook (McGraw-Hill (U.S.), 1985); The Crafted Poem (Wordwrights Canada, 1985); Haiku: Canadian Anthology/Anthologie Candienne (Editions Asticou, 1985); Tidepool 2 (Hamilton Haiku Workshop Press, 1985); The Last Blewointment Anthology (Knightwood Editions, 1985); Milkweed (Nietzsche's Brolly, 1987); Instant Anthology '87 (Meet the Presses, 1987); Haiku Canada 10th Anniversary Holograph Anthology (1987); The Northern Red Oak [Poems for Milton Acorn] (Unfinished Monument Press, 1987); Special Delivery (Haiku Canada, 1988); International Haiku Contest 1987 (prize), The Modern Haiku Association of Tokyo (1988); Voices (Haiku Canada, 1989) Synesthesia in Haiku (University of the Philippines Press, 1989); Keeper of the Conscience (Greensleeve Publishing, 1990); Wind in the Long Grass (Simon & Schuster, 1991); Haiku Canada 15th Anniversary Holograph Anthology (1992); A Haiku Alphabet in Celebration of Spring (Proof Press, 1994); Let The Earth Take Note [Milton Acorn] (Festival Publishing, 1994); A Magical Clockwork (Wordwrights Canada, 2000); Feast of Equinox (2007); Crossing Lines (Seraphim Editions, 2008); And Left A Place To Stand On - Poems and Essays on Al Purdy (Hidden Book Press, 2009); Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament;(Mansfield Press, 2010). Online Anthologies: The Pedestal Political Anthology (2004). Magazine Appearances: Alchemist, Alive, Americas Review, Anthos, Arts Scarborough Newsletter; Atkinson College Balloon; Bite; Blueprint; Canadian Author & Bookman; Canadian Book Review Annual; Canadian Dimension; Cicada; Daybreak, Driftwood East, express magazine, 519 News, Grain, Gut, Haiku, Haiku Highlights, Haiku West, The Heart, Inkstone, Janus SCTH, Leslieville Community News, Lucky Jim's; Mainichi Times; Modern Haiku; Musicworks; Mamashee; Nimbus Two; Nutmegger; Oblique Times; Origins; Our Times; Partisan; Pierian Spring; Piranha; Poetic License; Poetry Canada Review; Poetry Toronto; Prairie Star; Proof Rock; Rampike; Raw NervZ; The Red Menace; Rubicon; The Shit; Southwind; TPL News; This Magazine; Umbrella; Waitaka Press Broadsheet; Ward 9 News; Ward 7 News; Watchwords; Waves; Wee Giant; Whitewall Review; Wind Chimes; Writers' Quarterly; etc. Online Magazines: Simply Haiku (May-June 2004); PoetryLives - Contemporary Haibun Online (June 2006). Other: Over 40 public readings and radio and television broadcasts; "A Defence of Poetry" (essay) in Tough Times (Black Moss Press, 2010); Five Questions with Chris Faiers: PurdyFest 2011 - interview for Open Book, Ontario (July 2011). Selected Reviews & Kind Words: "I like his poetry." - Beatle George Harrison, Esher, England 1969. "Your poems have verve, wit, range and rage. Bravo, and an entire laurel tree of praise for them. They have lifted me out of the fits of depression that sometimes grip me when reading the lifeless drivel that passes for poetry these days. God bless you and keep you always warm and creative." - Irving Layton. "A book by Chris Faiers is always a joy to behold, not only for its spontaneous unpretentiousness and ribald good humour, it's as though he has discovered that God in his/her/its infinite wisdom has decreed that humanity is the scapegoat of the cosmos, and Faiers laughing at our foibles is the only sensible way out." - Herb Barrett in Origins Magazine on Sleeping in Ruins. "Faiers' poetry illuminates the human condition with a quiet strength. He is a strong imagist and equally strong lyrical poet, 'giving the common man a common candidate'. A social critic and gentle satirist of his own alter-ego, the poet persona, Chris wanders through a downtown urban world of kitchens, union meetings and racetracks, recording what touches him in anger or compassion." - Judges Comments, The Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award, Cross-Canada Writers' Quarterly.
Books Published: Cricket Formations [haiku] (C & C Printing Richmond, England, 1969); Guest in a Garden [haiku] (C & C Printing, Richmond, England, 1969); Dominion Day in Jail (Unfinished Monument Press, 1978); College Streetcar Runs All Night (Unfinished Monument Press, 1979); White Rasta (Unfinished Monument Press, 1980); Sleeping in Ruins [haiku] (Unfinished Monument Press, 1981); Unacknowledged Legislator (blewointmentpress, 1981); White Rasta in Wintertime (Unfinished Monument Press, 1982); Island Women (HMS Press, 1983); The Unfinished Anthology [Editor] (Unfinished Monument Press, 1984); 5 Minutes Ago They Dropped the Bomb (Unfinished Monument Press, 1984); Foot Through the Ceiling (Aya/Mercury Press, 1986); Mr. Library Man (Haiku Canada Broadsheet, 1988); 13 Bohemian Dreams (Unfinished Monument Press, 1988); Moon City [haiku] (Greensleeve Publishing, 1989); Eel Pie Dharma: a memoir/haibun (Unfinished Monument Press, 1990); ZenRiver Poems & Haibun (Hidden Book Press, 2008); Eel Pie Island Dharma [reprint] (Hidden Brook Press, 2012).
Credits: Draft resister" - Prize: The International Haiku Contest 1987 - commemorating the 40th anniversary of The Modern Haiku Association (booklet); also published in Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came To Canada In The Vietnam War Era (Seraphim Editions, 2008); "Night beach" - Haiku 3:1+3 (1969); Haiku: Canadian Anthology [editors: Dorothy Howard and Andre Duhaime] (Editions Asticou, 1985) and elsewhere; "Vine" - The Haiku Handbook, William J. Higginson (McGraw-Hill, 1985); "Streetcar rumble" - Wind In The Long Grass, William J. Higginson (Simon & Schuster, 1991); Haiku: Canadian Anthology [editors: Dorothy Howard and Andre Duhaime] (Editions Asticou, 1985) and elsewhere; "Green garden hose" - Haiku: Canadian Anthology [editors: Dorothy Howard and Andre Duhaime] (Editions Asticou, 1985); Synesthesia In Haiku And Other Essays, Toshimi Horiuchi (University of the Philippines Press, 1990) and elsewhere; "Christmas vacation" - Haiku: Canadian Anthology [editors: Dorothy Howard and Andre Duhaime] (Editions Asticou, 1985) and elsewhere.