Fred Chandler: Origin Story

Studio exec by day, poet by night, Fred found his path to poetry after being set on an unexpected journey by a zen monk.  Fred was experiencing a stressful non-stop work life when celebrated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann invited him to a gathering at his home. There, he met the zen monk, an elusive spiritual advisor who had helped Luhrmann and others. Fred journeyed to meet the monk to learn more about zen and meditation, which he recalls now as the "journey of a thousand steps." Upon meeting Fred, the monk looked at him with piercing eyes and thumped Fred's chest, asking him: "What do you do creatively for you?" Fred realized in that moment that his life was focused on helping others achieve their dreams and that he hadn't developed a way to honor and express his own creativity and life's emotions. Soon thereafter, Fred started on the path to learning to quiet the mind and meditate—it wasn't easy, it took 2 years! And, one day everything came full circle. He was waiting in a rustic bar in Australia, for Luhrmann of all people. . .and sunlight was streaming through the window, through the bronze glass of bourbon bottles, perfectly setting the mood for Fred to write his first poem, The Last Light of Day.

Since then, Fred has had the honor of being a KCET/PBS Poet of The Month, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant recipient, and a published poet in the domestic and international journals The Muse, Black Lantern, The Splizz, and Northern Stars. Fred’s poetry readings have also been produced for shows at Beyond Baroque and 2018 literary festivals, and have been put to music by Bruce Botnick, famed producer of The Doors, and film composer and conductor Aaron Zigman (The Notebook, Wakefield).  He is also a fellow of the American Film Institute, a member of the Writers Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fred spent his earlier life in New Jersey & New York City, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jo.

Facebook / Soundcloud / Email

Latest & Upcoming Publications & Readings

Fred's poem "Without Time," is featured in volume 5 of "The Muse," which contains works by poets from 26 countries.
Follow Fred on Facebook to watch and hear recordings of Fred's poems read at the Orcas Island Lit Fest, Beyond Baroque and other venues and events.


Thank Yous

As Fred puts it, writing poetry is not a quick march, it's a forever journey and to make this kind of wonderful journey happen, it helps to have people believe in you and your poetry, support you and inspire you. These are just a few of the people who make Fred's journey a reality.

Poetry Editor
-Sarah Wang

CD Recording and Production
-Bruce Botnick

Chapbook Production
-Paper Chase Press

Music on Fred Speaks volume 3
-Aaron Zigman

Special thanks also goes to...
The poetry venues Beyond Baroque and the Orcas Island Lit Fest; all the wonderful illustrators whose work you see on this site and on Fred's chapbooks and CDs; photographer Rick Ehrlich and artist Nikki DiFalco; artist Ken Wesley; Janna Gilleland for design of our previous original website and her continuous support; printer extraordinaire Marc Holbert and all the publications who have honored Fred by immortalizing his poetry in print.