Welcome to the official Fern G. Z. Carr website highlighting the work of this contemporary Canadian poet. A member of The League of Canadian Poets, Carr is a former lawyer, teacher and past Director/President of the local branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She composes and translates poetry in five languages and has been published extensively world-wide from Finland to the Seychelles. Carr was deeply honoured to have had one of her poems selected by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. That link, sample poems, reviews and other information follow.
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
League of Canadian Poets' Poet-in-Residence (July 2011)
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 and German
Lesson plans based on Carr's poetry used in high schools in the USA
- Featured poet in an international poetry journal
Haiku included on a special DVD attached to NASA's MAVEN spacecraft sent to the planet Mars as part of the Going to Mars with MAVEN contest (12,530 entrants world-wide)
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
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 ~ 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 President of the Canadian Booksellers Association
"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
Words With Writers W3 Sidecar interview
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) television interview with Carr (in French)
Ryerson University The Eyeopener newspaper interview
The Centrifugal Eye journal interview
Room magazine interview
Poem of the Month for Canada - "I Am"
League of Canadian Poets Blog 2011 - "Somnus Erat Demonstrandum"
Okanagan Arts - "Lake Winnipeg"; "Neruda on the Beach at Capri"; "The Solitary Fisherman"
Short, Fast, and Deadly - "Jack"
SOL: English Writing in Mexico - "Marlin"
- Ekphrastia Gone Wild Broadcast - "Venus de Milo - A Farewell to Arms" at 3:51 and "Golden Boy" at 53:27
Outside North America
Austria: Puchberg; Australia: Geelong, Victoria; Newcastle, New South Wales; Perth, Western Australia; West Hoxton, New South Wales; China: Chengdu, Sichuan; Cyprus: Nicosia; England: Bicester; Cambs; Leeds; Manchester; Finland: Vantaa; France: Nantes, Paris; India: Calcutta, West Bengal; Pimpri, Maharashtra; Ireland: Riverside, County Sligo; Israel: Jerusalem; Metulla; Italy: Turin; Mayotte Island (Mozambique Channel): Mamoudzou; Mexico: San Miguel de Allende; Nepal: Kathmandu; New Zealand: Auckland; Romania: Constanta; Scotland: Rothesay; Seychelle Islands: Victoria; South Africa: Cape Town; Thailand: Banglamung; Wales: Penyrheol, Caerphilly
Alaska: Anchorage; Arizona: Tuscon; California: Berkeley; Del Mar; Los Angeles; Palm Springs; Rancho Santa Margarita; San Francisco; Colorado: Boulder; Wheat Ridge; Connecticut: New Haven; Florida: Daytona Beach; Illinois: Champaign; Indiana: Muncie; Kansas: Overland Park; Louisiana: Metairie; Massachusetts: Somerville; Worcester; Minnesota: Perham; St. Paul; Nevada: Las Vegas; New York: Franklin Square (Long Island); Jamaica; Mt. Marion; New York City; Northport (Long Island); Oakdale (Long Island); North Carolina: Asheville; Ohio: Tiffin; Pennsylvania: Philadephia; Rhode Island: Newport; Texas: Abilene, Fort Worth; Waco; Virgina: Norfolk; Washington: Lacey; West Virginia: Morgantown; Wisconsin:Madison
Alberta: Edmonton; British Columbia: Kelowna; Lantzville; Richmond; Vancouver; Manitoba: Miami; Winnipeg; New Brunswick: Fredericton; Ontario: Kingston; London; New Liskeard; Ottawa; Tecumseh; Toronto; Waterloo; Windsor; Québec: Montréal; Saskatchewan: Battleford; Regina; Swift Current
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,
Fern G. Z. Carr
Please feel free to e-mail Fern with your comments and questions. Poetry readings can also be booked via this link:
Contact Fern G. Z. Carr or e-mail: Contact_ferngzcarr@shaw.ca