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Chambers, Chris


PERSONAL: Male. Education: Attended University of Western Ontario.

ADDRESSES: Home—Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Pedlar Press, P.O. Box 26, Station P, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2S6.

CAREER: Poet. Works in a bookstore in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

AWARDS, HONORS: Winner of national sports poem contest, Fiddlehead magazine, 1997, for "God Save the Greatest Underwater Swimmers"; Toronto Arts Council grant.


(With Derek McCormack) Wild Mouse (poetry and short stories), Pedlar Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

Lake Where No One Swims (poetry; includes "God Save the Greatest Underwater Swimmers"), Pedlar Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Also author, with others, of Up and down Bloor Street (chapbook), Inkbooks, 1997. Contributor to periodicals, including Literary Review of Canada, Blood and Aphorisms, Taddle Creek, and Fiddlehead.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Patience (poems).

SIDELIGHTS: Chris Chambers reads his poetry at various Toronto venues and contributes to Canadian publications. He wrote Wild Mouse with Derek McCormack, the title of which refers to a carnival ride in the Canadian National Exhibition, which is set up each summer in Toronto. Included in the book are vintage black-and-white photographs that go as far back as the 1930s. While McCormack's poems are written from the point of view of an insider, Chambers's recall early visits as a child, and others as he grows toward adulthood.

Chambers' debut collection, Lake Where No One Swims, was reviewed by contributor Kevin Connolly, who said that Chambers "can be vague," but that poems like "Guerrilla Squatter," "God Save the Greatest Underwater Swimmers," and "How the Moon Affects Things" "confirm Chambers as a poet of growing skill and sensitivity."

David Alan Barry noted in an interview with Chambers for Taddle Creek Online that the poems of this collection draw on the life experience of fifteen years, during which time Chambers left Toronto to attend college, worked in Europe, and then returned to Toronto. The poet stated that he did not want to rush his first collection, but rather wished it to be something he and those who read it would feel good about. Although water is the central theme, Chambers told Barry that he was never a good swimmer; still, he is drawn to water and refers to himself as a "damn fine guy to have at your cottage," "particularly," as Barry added, "if it's on a lake."

"Also drawing the pieces in the collection together is a sense of restless energy," wrote Barry. "Chambers' poems often deal with movement and travel—people walk, run, swim, cycle, drive, and fly. Viewpoints and vantages consequently change often, keeping the pieces fresh and pulsing."

Chambers, who works in a Toronto bookstore to subsidize the income from his artistic pursuits, is working on a poetry collection titled Patience.



Books in Canada, February, 2000, Darren Werschler-Henry, "McCormack's Ideal Sample Case," p. 25.

Canadian Literature, spring, 2003, Carole A. Turner, review of Wild Mouse, p. 169.

University of Toronto Quarterly, winter, 1999, Marnie Parsons, "Poetry," pp. 46-48.

ONLINE, (February 24, 2000), Kevin Connolly, review of Lake Where No One Swims.

Taddle Creek Online, David Alan Barry, "Playing in the Deep End" (interview with Chambers).*

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