“In a Time of No Song will impress readers with its poetry of pure sentience and godlike laughter. The mysticism of the source is here, but most of all, I think, we will remember the great enactments and themes of this book through its omnipresent, brilliant tributes to life.”
A.F. Moritz, from the Introduction
“This is like watching lightning, strike after strike of lightning.”
“A rapturous magic: evokes the ephemeral, the indescribable, the ecstasy of mystics…
Here we find a tenacity, a voice in the darkness…a poet for seekers.”
“His poetry crackles with prophetic energy”
“Potent and persuasive”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from City Lights
“a master poet, eloquent and erudite”
“Very fine and spiritually guided”
David Broza, Israel
“Your voice calls the soul to join the silence and keep it there, in abandon…in that unknown place, where you, disguised as a human, use a body of flesh and fire.”
Michele Cassou, San Rafael, CA
“Another Walt Whitman has taken root in Canada”
George Whitman, Shakespeare and Company, Paris
“A display of verbal pyrotechnics such as I’ve never seen before”
“…an astonishing lyricist”
George Elliott Clarke
“I can feel the sublime poet in his voice and music”
“Jeff is in touch with the source…we work for that all of our life and most of the time not even get a momentary glimpse of it. He is somewhere we are all destined to reach.”
Mercan Dede, Istanbul
INSIGHTS & EXCERPTS ON CONSCIOUSNESS, WRITING & MUSIC
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Jeff Bien is an internationally acclaimed poet and musician, and highly regarded meditation, consciousness and spiritual practitioner. His work has been published, translated and performed in more than forty countries. He is the author of numerous books which have received critical acclaim in Canada and abroad, and his poetry has been the recipient of many awards. His newest collection, In a Time of No Song, with an introduction by A.F. Moritz was released in the fall of 2015, by Exile Editions.
Along with literature and music, he has undertaken a lifetime study of geopolitics, psychology, philosophy, allopathic and holistic medicine, and a miscellany of related disciplines. He has written works of explicit consciousness through a multidisciplinary lens seeking the common denominator to unify the individuated faculties of knowledge.
He has recorded two CD’s of poetry to music, A Taste of Creation and America & other poems, along with his first recording of song, Songs of Forgiveness & Prayer, which features his own original music in collaboration with many of Canada’s finest musicians. The album was one of CBC’s selections of the year and was nominated for a World Folk Music Award, and was widely reviewed, and received.
His music has been praised for its vision and lyrical quality, and for inspiring and awakening social and spiritual consciousness. With fraternal greetings from Leonard Cohen, accolades from Mercan Dede, David Broza, and other international artists, it is an auspicious debut. Bien’s work embodies diverse musical and cultural influences, engaging oral and formal traditions which include the migrancy of folk, jazz, classical, African and spiritual idioms.
Bien has been acclaimed as “…an astonishing lyricist” by George Elliott Clarke, “another Walt Whitman has taken root in Canada” by George Whitman of Shakespeare and Company in Paris, “a ruthless, truth-telling poet” by Poetry Australia, and “a master poet, eloquent and erudite” by the CBC, in addition to having been recognized by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney in selecting his work for the Arvon Anthology of Great Britain.
And of his work, it has been written “his poetry crackles with prophetic energy” in Canadian Literature, “Potent and persuasive” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from City Lights, San Francisco, “The kind of poem that should not have been able to be written” by Gary Geddes, “a display of verbal pyrotechnics such as I’ve never seen before” by Irving Layton and “This is like watching lightning, strike after strike of lightning” by Barry Callaghan.
A mural featuring a rendition of the cover of his book, America & other poems, was commissioned on a heritage building adjacent to the University of Toronto. The re-release of the book, which was recorded in Paris, and Havana, and was heralded as prophetic, has been expanded to include a new prose piece, entitled “Pax Americana”, engaging the dystopian and apocalyptic New World Order.
Most recently Mercan Dede, whose last album was number one in the world (World music), composed music for a number of Bien’s readings of his most recent poems, including them in his newest release, alongside recordings of Mahatma Gandhi, as well as Rumi, and other prominent artists. One of Bien’s poems, “One Buddha Is Not Enough”, was viewed over half a million times within two days, and was, included in the Buddha Bar’s annual compilation, released worldwide.
A number of his poems have been given musical treatment by Emmanuel Reverdi (Paris) and released internationally on CD (Access/9 Ave. B), Melodie Records, as well as EMI.
Along with his newest collection of poetry, Bien is presently completing two new books of prose, Songs of Non-Separation: Teachings on Consciousness & Spirituality, culled from years of practice and study within various traditions, and Undressing the Illusion: Letters to a Young Mystic, as well as a new collection of prose, The Poet Sings.
His teaching work rests on its own merit, and is widely acknowledged as a unique and powerful presence based on a lifelong work of explicit consciousness, spiritual practice and study, and has been recognized by many prominent figures from all walks of life.
Bien is cited as the lineage of Life Cosmic, a cooperative of meditation and Yoga, whose founder Alexander Petrogiani has been his student for more than ten years of intensive study and practice; as well as Rafi Aaron, activist and founder of the Interfaith Coalition for the Homeless, and co-chair of one of the Out of the Cold shelters in Toronto, who too cites Bien as a teacher, and has been a deep witness of his teachings put into practice on a steadfast journey for more than twenty years; and Laura Robertson, founder of CPASS (Chronic Pain Support Services), an advocate and peer counsellor for persons living with chronic pain and mental health challenges in the Champlain LHIN, Ottawa Region,.
In addition he has taught and counselled, through conversations, correspondence, and in the communion of deep discernment and listening, many hundreds of seekers and students informally, as well as advocating medically on behalf of a multitude of those suffering without redress, with no compensation but for the greater gift and gratitude requited, which is at the heart of his teaching practice.
His work was recently recognized by some of Canada’s foremost musicians and writers, and will be released in 2017, as both a live CD and documentary entitled, “Song in a Time of No Song”, celebrating the spiritus of his poetry , music, and consciousness work.
BOOKS & CD’s
Prosody at the Cafe Du Coin
A Taste Of Creation
America & Other Poems
Songs of Non-Separation: Teachings on Consciousness & Spirituality
to be completed in 2017
The Poet Sings
to be completed in 2017
A Taste of Creation
America and Other Poems
Songs of Forgiveness & Prayer
The poems are a brilliant and compelling world unto themselves, constituting (constituted by genius and visionary insight) what we used to call an alternate reality, one which hasn’t quite lost all touch with the more common reality we all inherit and inhabit. They are quite extraordinary, delicate and beautiful, lifting the reader into another, more ethereal, and perhaps enduring realm. The poems are quite beautiful, spiritual if you like, almost paradisal, and can take their place in a certain visionary tradition.C. Marks
Jeff Bien until this point has been regarded more as a poet than a musician. He’s well known world wide and major poets like Ted Hughes and Irving Layton have sung his praise over the years… He’s now released a full blown musical album ‘Songs of Forgiveness & Prayer’… If Neil Diamond were doing a Leonard Cohen record this would be the result… A star studded cast of supporting players.Mark Rheaume
By the first few words I read, I knew it would be a beautiful experience, so brilliant I almost cried, such a gift from the gods as you have, that make men so light weight. It’s beyond gift – your heights of genius, depth, originality and expression.Simon Green | Belle Isle, France
Over the years, Jeff Bien has released numerous poetry books including Prosody at the Café du Coin, America & other poems, his collection A Taste of Creation and his latest volume In a Time of No Song, with an introduction by A.F. Moritz.
His work has engaged many forms, ranging from a prosaic often colloquial voice in his earlier work to a more formal and lyrical poetic, and in his recent work the two melding into a singular and distinctive voice.
Widely acclaimed and published, he has been translated and performed in more than forty countries, and has received poetry awards from Literal Latte (New York City), The New Welsh Review (Academi, Wales), and more recently the 2014 Gwendolyn MacEwen award for a selection of poems.
He has also been the recipient of a Canadian Authors Association and Stephen Leacock award for poetry; nominated for a National Magazine Award (Descant); shortlisted on several occasions for the CBC Literary Award, as well as being shortlisted by Britain’s poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, for the 2010 Arvon Award; a 2011 Arc Poem of the Year editor’s choice award; the Live Canon Poetry Award, selected by Glyn Maxwell, (Great Britain), and performed theatrically in Greenwich Theatre, London. Several pieces were selected for the 2013 Winston Collins/Descant Best Canadian Poem, selected by Mark Kingwell and Leanne Shapton; and various other national and international literary honours.
He has received Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council Awards for recordings of his work as well as having been supported on numerous occasions by Foreign Affairs for readings in conjunction with the Canadian High Commission in London, and the Canadian Embassies in Paris and Havana.
Bien has been acclaimed as an “…astonishing lyricist” by George Elliott Clarke, “another Walt Whitman has taken root in Canada” by George Whitman of Shakespeare and Company in Paris, “a ruthless, truth‐telling poet” by Poetry Australia, and “a master poet, eloquent and erudite” by the CBC, in addition to having been recognized by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney in selecting his work for the Arvon Anthology of Great Britain.
And of his work, it has be written “his poetry crackles with prophetic energy” in Canadian Literature, “The kind of poem that should not have been able to be written” by Gary Geddes, “a display of verbal pyrotechnics such as I’ve never seen before” by Irving Layton and “This is like watching lightning, strike after strike of lightning” by Barry Callaghan.
It has, as well, been called “an impressive emotional and metaphysical reach”, Desmond Maxwell, Ireland, “Poetry that induces a state of reverie”, Varsity Review, University of Toronto, “At the end of the millennium, a clear and authentic voice”, Rec Belgrade, and in a review written for Poetry Canada, “A major voice has emerged, there is greatness in his work”, amongst a myriad of other accolades.
Though Bien has led a largely reclusive life, on the occasions when he has done readings, he has drawn enthusiastic audiences. He is well known for his compelling, charismatic voice, as well as the virtuosity of language and visionary appeal of his work. His forthcoming works of poetry include The Poet Sings a collection of prose poetry and A Koan of Love a collection of spiritual aphorism and poems.