Richard Doiron was first published in a letter to the Editor in early 1964. He would write profusely from then on. In fact, one prominent journalist referring to his prolific pen, once referred to him as a "force of nature."
Having quit school at an early age, most of his initial education coming via a one-room schoolhouse in a small Acadian village, it would be a decade before Richard took upgrading, in Ontario, after which he earned a certificate in journalism (1972). Later (in 1984) he would become a Certified Lifeskills Coach.
In 1978 Richard had his first book of poetry published, a narrative poem titled "Love?" His second book of poetry made it into print in 1990. A third was published in 1999, and a fourth followed in 2002. Those two last books were nominated for the Governor General's Award, the last of those also for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Since then he has published additional books of poetry, as well as two novels and two biographical works.
In 1994, Richard wrote the words to the timeless Acadian song, "Mon Acadie," first recorded by Yrois Robichaud, followed by a host of other recording artists.
In 1993, some of his work was read at the 4th World Congress of Poetry & Cultures, in San Francisco, by the eminent Dr. Emily Yau, Director. He has since read at three International Literary Festivals, as well as a National Literary Festival, also at local events. He has twice been invited to attend a Middle East Poetry Festival in Lebanon, as well as to festivals in various countries, such as the Philippines and India.
On New Year's 2000 one of Richard's poems was read at the United Nations University for Peace, in Costa Rica.
In 2001, thanks to his years of championing Native rights, he was made an Honorary Band Member of New Brunswick's largest Indian reserve, Elsipogtog, by then Chief, Robert Levi. (At his 2002 book launch, in Moncton, attended by several hundred people, a main speaker was the then Grand Chief of the Maliseet Nation, Dan Ennis. (That launch was referred to as a "United Nations assembly" rather than a book launch in the Moncton Times & Transcript.)
In 2005, New Brunswick's former Lieutenant Governor, Margaret Norrie McCain requested that one of Richard's poems, "I Am The Voice," be used as a voice-over on a video documentary being done on her in Toronto, where she was a recipient of the YWCA's "Women Of Distinction Award." Mrs. McCain, a strong patron of the arts and philanthropist of note, donating millions to charitable organizations, had read Richard's poems to visitors at Government House, Fredericton through much of her tenure as Lieutenant Governor; in 1999, living in Toronto, very much in contact with Richard, she funded one of his books of poetry, launched in Moncton, flying there from Toronto for the event.
Overall, his poetry has been published a few hundred times. One of his poems appears in the world book, "Prayers for a thousand years," by invitation, alongside work by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as some twelve Nobel Peace Prize Winners, among them Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. In September 2009, one of his poems took first place in a World Poetry competition. It wasn't the first time he took first place in a competition at the international level...
August 2010, Richard wrote the wedding vows for Oprah Winfrey's former Personal Chef, Art Smith and his partner, artist Jesus Salgueiro, as requested. The wedding took place in Washington, DC, and headlines in the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune stated by 400 celebrities were brought to tears simultaneously at the emotions evoked by the vows, as written. (Artwork by Jesus Salgueiro graces this website.)
Richard continues to attempt to organize his "body of work," which consists of an estimated 40,000 + poems (his sonnets alone now number over 5500). His themes have been consistent: peace, love, and spirituality. He also writes a lot of philosophical poetry, as well as earth-based poetry.
In recent years Richard has had the distinct privilege of meeting outstanding poets, among them New Brunswick's own Carol Knepper, now embarked on a second career, that of author, following 31 years of teaching English literature in New Brunswick.
Carol's writing is lyrical, natural, with distinctly spiritual overtones. She and Richard share a powerful belief that the world needs all the love, peace, and spiritual enlightenment possible. As such it is their hope to help make our world a better place.
As Richard sees it, peace is the only answer, but peace implies many things, among them the implementation of justice, which means equity, with emphasis placed on education. Peace can only come to the masses when individuals have it as their experience first. We need gentleness, cooperation, loving-kindness, and the unwavering desire to truly move forward as a collective. As such, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to do his/her part in the fostering and promotion of peace.
Richard considers himself an eclectic thinker, someone who believes there is potential vitality and validity found in myriad systems. He especially believes in alternative healing methods. A student of Reiki for some time, in 2006, he was given the title of Reiki Master.
Richard has had the distinction of sharing his poetry with all Lieutenant-Governors of New Brunswick since the tenure of Margaret Norrie McCain, who stated publicly that he was a national treasure (albeit rather hidden).
To those who may chance to read this, he offers the following, which he considers to be a truly gentle poem: