Jeff Bien is an internationally acclaimed poet, musician, meditation and spiritual practitioner. His work has been published, translated and performed in more than thirty 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.
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. His music has been praised for its vision and lyrical quality, and for inspiring and awakening social and spiritual consciousness.
Since the inaugural launch, his music debut has been nominated for a National Folk Music Award, received repeat airplay across the country, been profiled nationally on Bravo, selected by CBC as one of the releases of the year, broadcast on Radio Canada International, and a live video recording of the concert, in Toronto, where he was joined by an eminent ensemble of musicians.
Bien's earlier poetic work has been called "a display of verbal pyrotechnics such as I've never seen before" by the late Irving Layton, and "of great merit," by Nobel nominee, Charles Bliss, as well as having being recognized by Ted Hughes, and Seamus Heaney, in selecting his work for the Arvon Anthology in Great Britain.
More recently he has received poetry awards from Literal Latte (New York City) and The New Welsh Review (Academi, Wales), 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); several pieces for the 2013 Winston Collins/Descant Best Canadian Poem, selected by Mark Kingwell and Leanne Shapton; and on numerous occasions the CBC Literary Award, and various other national and international literary honours.
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 CD recording of the book will include a DVD featuring live concerts and recording sessions in Paris and Havana.
Along with his newest collection of poetry, Bien is presently completing two new books of prose, Songs of non-separation, a compendium of letters and teachings, culled from years of spiritual practice and study within various traditions, and Undressing the Illusion: Letters to a Young Mystic, as well as a new CD compilation of his prosaic work, Blue Harmonica.