In a Time of No Song by Jeff Bien

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This remarkable collection of poems lures you in, at first to stand alone in the dark, but slowly there comes a hint of light from a crack beneath a door, then a riot of sensuous intensity as you open up to the beauty that lies between the folds of words, bursts of poetic energy that casts warm light over all shadows. From the Introduction by A.F. Moritz "What is this poetry like? There are not many precedents for it or bodies of work very similar to it in English…Bien’s word hoard is all his own, though, the way he animates it, constantly connecting the outer with the inner, the familiar with the distant, the limited with the vast, the realm of thought with the realm of life, non-sentient things with sentient ones… There is scarcely a stanza in Bien’s work that does not contain some instance of these extendings and plunges into each other performed by things and whole modes of existence. More notable still is the mysterious ease with which the poems admit the contradictions present in perceptions, emotions and desires. 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. We’ll keep it by us for its indelible celebrations… A dove lands on my shoulder, the unbearable weight of magicwhat shelters each moment in every other, dies and lives, homelessly on,an orchard of lovely berries singing on a dying treeand so all the while, so too, I sing, that which sings me, in a time of no song."

About Jeff Bien

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Jeff Bien is an internationally acclaimed poet, a musician, and a meditation and spiritual practitioner. His work has been published, translated, and performed in more than 30 countries, and his poems and poetry collections have received the Arc Poem of the Year Editor's Choice Award, the Live Canon Poetry Award, and the CBC Literary Award, among other accolades. He is the author of American & Other Poems, Prosody at the Café du Coin, Songs of Non-Separation: Teachings on Consciousness and Spirituality, and Undressing the Illusion: Letters to a Young Mystic. He lives in Kemptville, Ontario. A.F. Moritz of Toronto has been a finalist three times for the Governor General’s Award, and he has received various notices for his poetry, among them the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, the ReLit Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. His poems have appeared frequently in Poetry, Hudson Review, Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, Southwest Review, American Poetry Review, Paris Review, and more. His forthcoming book (excerpted in this issue, courtesy House of Anansi) is a long sequential poem, titled Sequence.
Published September 1, 2015 by Exile Editions. 184 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction