Welcome to CollingWord, the place to learn about poetry and the spoken word in Collingwood. As a literary form for people of all ages and backgrounds, poetry can be a source of inspiration and help us express what matters most to us as individuals and as a community. We look forward to adding information and creative output to these pages as our community’s connection to the written and spoken word grows here in CollingWord.

April is National Poetry Month! See our Poet Laureate's April blog post for more details

National Poetry Month logo  

Poet Laureate's Blog: Symbol & Drum

Introducing Collingwood's first Poet Laureate, Day Merrill

Day Merrill picture with Tanya Mazza in front of some "Blue Suede Shoes" at Town Hall

Day will serve a two-year term as Poet Laureate from May 2018 to April 2020 during which she will be a champion for poetry and the spoken word in Collingwood. Day studied literature an poetry in university and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Education and a Master of Arts.  “I see my role as 'poetry advocate'," said Day. "I’m looking forward to championing projects that have the potential to help all residents experience the power of poetry as creators, not only consumers.” 

Contact Day:

>Day (on left), with Arts & Culture Coordinator, Tanya Mazza beside a couple of "Blue Suede Shoes" during the recent Collingwood Elvis Festival. Each footstep featured a quote by Elvis.









Pop-up projects

A woman smiles from inside the wooden poetry booth at Sidelaunch Days harbour festival this August

 The Poetry Booth

The Poetry Booth is a poetic exchange that exists in both real time and on-line.The booth is outfitted with a vintage typewriter-style keyboard called a Qwerkywriter connected via Bluetooth to a tablet, enabling every keystroke to be collected, stored and after vetting, posted online.

While each contribution to The Poetry Booth installation can be its own distinct poem, we’re hoping that participants will also be influenced by what was written before. You never know what impressions, thoughts, feelings and inspirations about Collingwood might show up! 
Check out what the first participants in The Poetry Booth at Sidelaunch Days Harbour Festival had to say here >>
Write the Waves 
August 11 & 12, Sidelaunch Days Collingwood Harbour Festival
A community word-art installation at the waterfront promenade invited festival-goers to “Write the waves” with a word, phrase or quote that expressed their view of Collingwood. Thanks to FRAM for use of the wall. Click here to see the results>>
Painted waves on the construction wall at the waterfront  Two participants write in Cambodian on the waves
Writing for the King™
The Songwriters who made Elvis Presley a Legend
During the Collingwood Elvis Festival, July 27-29, Writing for the King™ posters were displayed in the windows and storefronts of downtown businesses. Each one featured a songwriter whose music and lyrics helped make Elvis the King™ of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Blue Mountain Music window with a Writing for the King poster that highlights songwriter Jerry Reid

Poetry & Spoken Word Events 

In this section, you’ll find a running list of literary events that may be of intertest. If you are planning such an event and would like it posted here, please let us know. We’re always happy to spread the “word.”

April 23, 2018: Pints & Poems
April 18, 2019: Poem in Your Pocket Day
April 13, 2019: Day of the Poets 2 (Orangeville)
November 2-4, 2018: Words Aloud 15
October 27, 2018: We Love Words
May 5, 2018: Literary Coffee House

Poet Laureate News

Check this section to keep up-to-date with what’s happening related to poetry and the spoken word in the news‒local, Canadian and around the world. And if you are aware of any articles that might be of interest, send a note and we’ll post them if possible.

Resources for Readers and Writers

For anyone who would like to read more poetry and maybe even start writing it, the resources in this section can help. Drop us a line if you have any resources that you’d recommend so we can share them on this page. Go to the resources page >>

Symbol & Drum

Welcome to my blog, which I call Symbol & Drum to reflect my dual role as your Poet Laurate. As a poet, I’ll be using symbolism, metaphor and other literary devices to create poems in a wide range of forms on the topic of Collingwood– what it means, both as a place and as a community. In addition, as a poetry advocate, I’ll be “beating the drum” to promote the written and spoken word as an art form that has been underrepresented in our area compared to the visual arts, music, theatre and dance.  
I hope you enjoy reading it, and I look forward to hearing from you what you’d like me to be talking about. 

Spring is Sprung!

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.

I wonder where the boidie is?

They say the boidie’s on the wing.

But that’s absoid. The wing is on the bird.


Ah, Spring! April brings longer days, warmer weather and the unmistakable signs of Springtime: harbingers like the robins returning North and the first snowdrops pushing their way up out of the thawing earth. April is also National Poetry Month. Our blog this month is dedicated to all the activities that we’ve planned to celebrate poetry. Here’s the lineup:

April 1:Take a gander at the water tower. For one day only, the Town of Collingwood agreed to let us rebrand as “CollingWord.” Here’s a pic in case you missed it; that climb up to the top with the bucket of paint was a real challenge! (Photoshopped water tower pic for April Fool’s Day :  )

Collingwood's water tower with the second "o" made into an "r"

April 2:Today is a day for ranting–Rant poetry that is!While Rant poetry comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s most commonly defined as a free-verse prose poem about an exasperating subject. I’ll be leading a workshop on crafting a Rant poem for students in CCI’s FLEX program. Look for their creations in a future Poetry Corner.

All Month:Take a stroll along the Train Trail and see the latest StoryWalk installation, featuring the acrostic poems of Canadian author Carolyn Pignat from her book The Poetree. The Train Trail begins at the Station Museum at 45 St Paul Street. and the pages of Poetree are displayed in cases along the trail. StoryWalk is a collaboration between the Collingwood Public Library and the Parks, Recreation & Culture department. 

The library is also featuring poetry for all ages in the display case near the circulation desk, so take a look. 

“Poetry Kits” have been placed at the Collingwood Museum and Centennial Aquatic Centre. Each kit is loaded with ideas and tools for anyone to build their own poem.

Check out the Poetry Month display in one of the newly installed display cases at Central Park Arena. There are poems by some Canadian and international authors featured as well as a “spontaneous poetry wall” for anyone wanting to share their prose and musings.

April 13:Orangeville’s first annual Day of the Poets is an event all about poetry: reading, it, writing it and listening to it. There will be some workshops in the morning and all afternoon, local poets will be reading their poems from the Orangeville Library (yours truly will be appearing live-via-Skype at 12:30). And all over town, you will find poems in store windows. Check it out here:

April 18:Poem in Your Pocket Day! Carry a poem in your pocket, recite it to staff at the Collingwood Museum or Centennial Aquatic Centre and you can get a pass for a free swim or skate I’ll be prowling the streets of Collingwood with poems in my pocket, so stop me if you like one. If you share one with me, I will pay any outstanding library fines! 

April 23:“Much like beer, poetry is an acquired taste.” Come to our first Pints & Poems evening and sample both! Hosted by Side Launch Brewing Company, this 19+ event is your chance to try your hand at creating a poem, reading some of your original poetry or sharing a favourite published poem while sampling some of the area’s finest brews.

Poetry all month long–a great way to welcome Spring. Here’s my favourite poem about spring by e.e. cummings, a poet who shed capitalization and punctuation like unneeded toques and mittens. And look in our Poetry Corner for a lovely poem about returning home to the area in Spring from local poet gloria kropf nafziger (who also eschews capital letters!)


[in Just-]


in Just-

spring          when the world is mud-

luscious the little

lame balloonman


whistles          far          and wee


and eddieandbill come

running from marbles and

piracies and it's



when the world is puddle-wonderful


the queer

old balloonman whistles

far          and             wee

and bettyandisbel come dancing


from hop-scotch and jump-rope and










balloonMan          whistles






2018-2020 Poet Laureate Terms of Reference.doc125 KB
Day Merrill - Poet Laureate Presentation 04-2018.pdf9.71 MB