Welcome to the official Fern G. Z. Carr website highlighting the work of this contemporary Canadian poet. A Full Member of The League of Canadian Poets, Carr is the President of Project Literacy Kelowna Society, a former lawyer, teacher and past President of the local branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She composes and translates poetry in six languages including Mandarin Chinese. Her poetry has been published extensively worldwide from Finland to Mauritius. Carr is deeply honoured to have one of her poems currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.
2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee; nomination from The Worcester Review
Carr's poem, "I Am", selected by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada
Featured in the The Globe and Mail online arts blog
Biographical listing in The World's Lawyer Poets from "Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry" based on research conducted by Professor James R. Elkins, College of Law, West Virginia University.
Carr's poetry was assigned reading for the West Virginia University’s College of Law course entitled “Lawyers, Poets, and Poetry.”
Cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana Literary Movement in India
Former League of Canadian Poets' Poet-in-Residence
Poetry included in various peace exhibits including being air-dropped from the sky in Cyprus as part of "Spring Poetry Rain"
One of thirty League of Canadian Poets whose poetry was featured on the LCP National Poetry Month Blog 2013
Poems translated into Crimean Tatar, German and Japanese, then published in those languages as well as in Arabic, Tatar Runes and Cyrillic scripts
Lesson plans based on Carr's poetry used in high schools in the USA
Featured poet in Sipay, an international poetry journal in the Seychelles
Carr's poetry studied in schools in the Seychelles
- Headlined featured poet SOPA Fine Arts Gallery, Kelowna
Poetry published in a collection featuring prominent Canadian poets (1883 - 2014) including Leonard Cohen, Bliss Carman and Irving Layton - Goose Lane Editions - Where the Nights Are Twice As Long - "My Secret Fear" (audio recording)
Haiku presently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft for NASA's Going to Mars with MAVEN Contest
- A winner of Il Premio Nazionale di Letteratura "Il Meleto di Guido Gozzano" 4° Edizione 2014 (Sezione Autori di Lingua Straniera) for her poem in English and her Italian translation (one of four poets chosen for Canada in this international competition) with a public reading of her poem in Italy
Selected for Best of 2013 from Kind of a Hurricane Press
2014 Editor's Choice Award from James Ward Kirk Publishing
First Place Winner of Newport Review Writing Contest - Poetry (judged by John Landry, Poet Laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts)
A winner of the Great Canadian Haiku Contest (judging led by Penn Kemp, London ON Poet Laureate); Carr's poems were set to music by Juno-nominated singer-composer, Royal Wood, who performed this composition at London's Home County's Folk Festival; the concert was also featured on CHRW Radio
- Ohio Poetry Day 2012 contests sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association and Heidelberg University:
- First Place Winner - Literary Persona Poetry Contest
- Third Place Winner - A Good Idea Poetry Contest
- Honourable Mention - Love of Life Poetry Contest
- Honourable Mention - Great Expectations Poetry Contest
- Ohio Poetry Day 2011 contests sponsored by the Ohio Poetry Association and Heidelberg University:
- First Place Winner - Small Stuff Poetry Contest
- Honourable Mention - Ohio Poetry Day Special Award
- Honourable Mention - The Road Taken Poetry Contest
A winner of Contemporary Literary Review India Christmas Theme Contest
A winner of Poetry Super Highway's Poetry Prompt Contest
A winner of Crow Toes Quarterly We're Just Winging It Here Poetry Contest
Honourable Mention for World Haiku Review Shintai Category
Honourable Mention for Inner Sins Magazine Cross Words Contest
A winner of Geist Sentence Invitational
One of three Canadian bilingual jurors to judge the Manitoba Writers' Guild Lansdowne Poetry Prize / Prix Lansdowne de poésie (Manitoba's largest poetry prize) in conjunction with the Manitoba Book Awards
Formerly one of three Canadian judges to adjudicate The League of Canadian Poets Poetic License Contest for Youth
Western Canadian Representative (one of three judges Canada-wide) to adjudicate the Ford & Jaguar Automotive Journalist of the Year Awards for two years
Reviews"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." Gerri 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 ~ 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 ~ 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)
"Fern G. Z. Carr is certainly a talented sculptor of words who has a way of moving the reader effectively. Her pieces are poetic and lovely – some humourous, some clever compilations of contrast and some wonderfully haunting and sensual in their darkness. In short, some great poetry." Mark Leslie Lefebvre ~ Author, Editor and Bookseller
"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, Tiffin, Ohio and State Contest Chair, Ohio Poetry Day
League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month Blog - "Somnus Erat Demonstrandum"
Mediterranean Poetry - "Neruda on the Beach at Capri"
Short, Fast, and Deadly - "Jack"
- Ekphrastic - "Venus de Milo - A Farewell to Arms"
Alberta: Edmonton British Columbia: Kelowna, Lantzville, Penticton, Richmond, Vancouver Manitoba: Miami, Winnipeg New Brunswick: Fredericton Newfoundland: Moreton's Harbour Ontario: Kingston, London, New Liskeard, Ottawa, Tecumseh, Toronto, Waterloo, Windsor Québec: Montréal Saskatchewan: Battleford, Regina, Swift Current
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: Champaign Indiana: Indianapolis, Muncie Iowa: Shellsburg Kansas: Overland Park Kentucky: Louisville Louisiana: Metairie Maine: Portland Massachusetts: Boston, Somerville, Worcester Michigan: Lansing Minnesota: Perham, St. Paul Nevada: Las Vegas New Hampshire: Keene New Jersey: Passaic, Princeton New Mexico: Albuquerque New York: 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, Portland Rhode Island: Newport South Carolina: Charleston South Dakota: Brookings Texas: Abilene, Fort Worth, Waco Virgina: Centreville, Norfolk Washington: Lacey, Seattle West Virginia: Morgantown Wisconsin: Madison
Outside Canada and the USA
Austria: Puchberg Australia: Geelong - Victoria, Newcastle - New South Wales, Perth - Western Australia, West Hoxton - New South Wales China: Chengdu - Sichuan, Hong Kong Cyprus: Nicosia England: Bicester, Cambs, Leeds, Manchester, Winchcombe Finland: Vantaa France: Le Reposoir - Haute-Savoie, Nantes, Paris, Toulouse Holland: Amsterdam India: Anupshahr - Uttar Pradesh, Calcutta - West Bengal, Chandigarh - Punjab and Haryana States, New Delhi - National Capital Territory of Delhi, Pimpri - Maharashtra Ireland: Riverside - County Sligo Israel: Jerusalem, Metulla Italy: Agliè, Turin Mauritius: Quatre Bornes Mayotte Island (Mozambique Channel): Mamoudzou Mexico: San Miguel de Allende Nepal: Kathmandu New Zealand: Auckland Nigeria: Lagos Peru: Lima Philippines: Taguig City Romania: Constanta Scotland: Rothesay Seychelle Islands: Victoria Singapore: Singapore South Africa: Cape Town, Pretoria Spain: Madrid Sweden: Gothenburg Thailand: Banglamung United Arab Emirates: Dubai Wales: Penyrheol - Caerphilly
Carr's haiku is currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.
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 craft. 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 have selected 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,
Please feel free to e-mail Fern with your comments and questions. Poetry readings can also be booked via this link: