THE NEW BOOK BY JEFF BIEN
IN A TIME OF NO SONG
“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.”
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 will be released in the fall of 2015, by Exile Editions.
Along with literature and music, he has undertaken a lifetime study of geopolitics, psychology, philosophy, 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, “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 CD 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, 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 was the only track from the double CD, 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 CD recording of his prosaic 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 2016
The Poet Sings
to be completed in 2016
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 Greene | 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.