Naturalist, and lover of slow walks in the woods since age eight, Grant Savage was born in Ottawa, Canada. He has been living in the same house since 1960, and still visits and photographs the nearby natural land he haunted as a boy. As a poet Grant is chiefly an autodidact, but counts, among his mentors, the haiku stalwarts Ruby Spriggs and Marianne Bluger. He has written cooperative poems with Betty Warrington Kearsley, Terry Ann Carter, Sandra Stephenson, anne mckay, Claudia Radmore, and various members of Kado Ottawa. From 2001 to 2010 he collaborated extensively with Claudia Radmore on a series of Renku and Tanrenga.
In 1994 Grant Savage and Ruby Spriggs published The Swan's Wings, a small book of Renku and visuals combining Grant's photography with Ruby's Art. It was followed by three full-length works in which Grant explores both nature and human nature in Japanese forms. First Their White With Them in 2006, followed by Winter Tanka in 2013, and now is ... fog ... is: Algonquin Park Haiku, 2014. In this most recent work Grant manages to maintain the spirit of haiku while fighting his way out of the accrued haiku orthodoxy of America and Canada, to express his acquiescence with it over the last thirty years, and to bring back some of the seminal approaches of the seventies. He echoes the works of such haijin as John Wills and Robert Spiess. In addition, his works are spiced with wit, humour, and popular cultural references that go as far back as the forties and fifties for images and words, bits of things as varied as words from The Great American Song Book and an iconic image or two from Time Magazine.
Using as few as three syllables and as many as eighteen, Savage weaves his way through references to park history, touches on the plight of rural towns in Central Ontario, delves into the rush of rivers and streams, at times indulging in more than a layman's knowledge of park flora and fauna. The text in the book is accompanied by twenty 5X71/2 inch photos in both colour and black and white. Grant fondly remembers his years in the black and white darkroom in Algonquin College, with the always witty and entertaining Harry Turner. He also recognizes his tremendous debt to Mike Montreuil of Editions des petits nuages, publisher and editor of this book. Thank you Mikey.