Poet Laureate

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 to these pages as our community’s connection to poetry grows.

Meet our Poet Laureate 2020-2022, Claudia Ferraro

Photo of Poet Laureate Claudia Ferraro

Claudia was born and raised in Collingwood and is currently in her final year at Dalhousie University in Halifax, studying for her honours degree in English and Creative Writing. She has led workshops and open mic nights and her poetry has been displayed at the Dalhousie Art Gallery and published in the University's literary magazine Fathom of which she is senior editor and head of their social media and marketing team. "I'm so honoured and excited to accept this position with Collingwood, and proud to be part of a community that values poetry. I hope to make it an event more accessible and helpful tool for the community members to work through the complex personal and public questions we are all facing at the moment." Feel free to reach out to Claudia at poetlaureate@collingwood.ca or follow poetry.by.collingwood on Instagram.

Full media announcement.

2021 Mayor's Virtual New Year's Levee Poem - Sharing in Solitude


Stack of Books

Hello from your gracious poet laureate - thank you for visiting my blog! This page is where I will be posting and discussing the many, wonderful poetry books that I recommend as good company during this often quiet, lonely, and no doubt confusing time. Poetry books differ from fiction and non-fiction literature - they are not just mementos of a character or a story, but rather are reflections on a moment or a feeling. They can be read, never finished, put down and picked back up without any consequence to the reading experience. This resistance to literary rules is where a lot of the power of poetry lies: they are borderless, non-restrictive, and accessible. They hold many of the values that our society so desperately needs to strengthen. In this way, reading poetry is not just a solitary act - it is also a social, political, and important one.

The book recommendations will vary in style and content as I hope to touch on something for everyone because, well, poetry is for everyone! Yet regardless of the type or author, all these books have something in common: they are food. They are nourishing, and necessary, and will leave you feeling different - hopefully better - than before.

So, I encourage you to pick up one of these books (almost all of the recommendations can be found at The Collingwood Public Library), pick up a cup of something yummy, and settle down in the good company of these authors.

Don’t hesitate to reach out with any author or book suggestions!

December 21 - February 21, 2021 - Follow the trail of twelve Poetry Prompts to take part in Collingwood’s first ever WordWork! The prompts start at the Arboretum (base of Hickory Street) and wind along the shoreline and back to the Gazebo. Send in a poem you wrote from the prompts and have it displayed in our PoeTree installation. A tree built from old books and new poems, this installation can be seen under the gazebo in the Arboretum starting January 18th, 2021. Send a short poem or piece of prose to our email at poetlaureate@collingwood.ca to take part. 

Photo of a computer

Poets and artists are producing some innovative and creative ways for you to stay connected and enjoy playing with words while at home.  For anyone who would like to read poetry, maybe start writing it, or view others reciting poetry, 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.

Feather Quill with the words Place Holders, Collingwood Poems by Local Poets

We invited local writers to select a park in Collingwood where they have a connection and create a poem about it. Fueling our imaginations and bringing to life the character of a place, is something poets do best and the result is a unique storymap called Place Holders including a video of each poet reciting their poem in the park. Go to Place Holders >>.

This section is where you can share your poetry. Please submit any original poem you’d like considered (as a Word document attachment or in the body of an email) and send it to  poetlaureate@collingwood.ca. Let us know if you’d like to be acknowledged as the poet or be published anonymously. We’ll read every submission and publish what we can. We look forward to seeing your work!

Photo of Poet Laureate Emeritus Day Merrill

"It has been my honour and privilege to serve as Collingwood's first Poet Laureate. Poetry is the most compact and efficient way to express thoughts and feelings and engender a deep response in others. The role of Poet Laureate has given me the opportunity to share my love of poetry and the spoken word as well as inspire both committed word fans and those new to the power of poetry"