Cristina's Library

Joie de livres

Introducing the Vaughan Poetry Map

Vaughan Public Libraries has created a new way to explore the city through poetry, in celebration of National Poetry Month and the City of Vaughan‘s 25th Anniversary. Introducing the Vaughan Poetry Map! I’m very proud to have been a part of its creation, as a member of the editorial panel and as a contributor. Click on the green circle below Boyd Conservation Area to read my poems, “Waltz” and “Dear Brother”.

Enjoy all of the wonderful work! Click HERE to access the map.

poetry map


Winter’s Tale

Winter Winter1 Winter2 Winter5

Twilight on Ice (Visual Poem)

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frozen citrus twilight tinged City’s fading sight;

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sleeping willow tendrils wrap around me in this hourglass, this naked January

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I promised a dance to Winter

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and I remember that the river // though cold, continues to flow, to breathe beneath the ice

To view the full Steller flipbook, click here.

Frozen citrus twilight
tinged City’s fading sight;
sleeping willow tendrils wrap around me in
this hourglass,
this naked January

I promised a dance to Winter

and I remember
that the river, though cold,
to flow, to breathe
beneath the ice

Steller Stories

liveforcolourI started using Steller this weekend, a beautiful app that I consider a far better, and much more aesthetically appealing, type of Instagram. It has a range of text, video, and photo design layouts and allows you to tell stories with your pictures. Check it out, and follow me at “crisrizz” for my mini-vignettes on travel and cuisine.

Click HERE to read my first story, “Live for Colour”, part of Steller’s #stellerresolution community hashtag. Enjoy 🙂

10 countries. 33 cities.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve is always a time for reflection. As I get ready for tonight’s festivities, I look back on 2014 and feel only gratitude, joy, and, truthfully, a shred of disbelief – in 12 months, I visited 10 countries and 33 cities on 2 continents.


Florence, Italy – one of my favourite places

I crossed the English Channel from the White Cliffs of Dover to Calais, France. I toured these gorgeous bodies of water: Lake Lucerne in Switzerland on a foggy, rainy, summer evening (all the more magical), the river Seine in Paris (for the third time), the Rhine River Valley in Germany, Miami’s South Beach, and the Amstel river in Amsterdam. I swam in the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean seas in southern Italy and the Amalfi Coast, and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.


Cappuccino at my favourite café, Bar Le Logge

As I wrote back in September upon my return, I sampled delicacies from different places, danced all night, read by rivers, boarded boats and trains and tiny little cars on tiny little roads, went to the tops of mountains and bobsledded down them, traversed valleys, strolled cities and small, cobblestone alleys, drank cappuccinos, drank (a lot of) fantastic wine, discussed current affairs with people from around the world, sat on cafe patios, read books that made a difference in my life, made lasting friendships, expanded my knowledge, lived and thrived in the countryside, counted stars, learned, embraced. And I did it all with complete strangers, or completely alone.


Me in Venice, Italy – a city whose inimitable charm is only discovered through exploration

I had the immense pleasure of visiting four of the most beautiful, celebrated, and renowned wine regions in the world – Napa Valley, California, USA; Chianti, Tuscany, Italy; Niagara, Ontario, Canada; and the Rhine River Valley, Germany. Each experience is special, for entirely different reasons. I toured California from north to south throughout (a much less-crowded) January with my love; lived in Chianti for two months at a writing residence, where I finished a future manuscript, with international artists that I am fortunate to call my friends (Tommy Graham, Ellen and Patrick Coffey, Kristin Man, and Alli Rath); regularly visit the breathtaking Niagara region; and spent a couple of memorable Riesling-and-bier-filled days in Germany. For more pictures of my summer vacation, check out my September post here.

Each place is saturated in my memory. They are vivid and colourful and inspiring and alive. I feel so privileged to not only have truly experienced life, but to have participated in the art of fine living. I’m thankful for everything.

I wish you all a very healthy, happy, prosperous new year.

Here’s to more adventure in 2015!