poet-fullThere are changes afoot in the local poetry community. Terry Burns is coming to the end of her two-year tenure as Owen Sound Poet Laureate and the search is on for someone else to fill the position. Any poet in Owen Sound or Grey Bruce with a substantial body of work (published or not) is welcome to apply.
The Poet Laureate is chosen by a three-member selection committee and they will be looking for a candidate with just the right combination of skills. "We want someone who's a good writer of course, but we're also looking for an ambassador, someone comfortable reaching out to our diverse poetic community and beyond." said Liz Zetlin, chair of the selection committee. She was Owen Sound's first Poet Laureate. "As well, we're looking for someone who will share his or her passion for our community, poetry and the literary arts."
The successful poet will serve a two-year term from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2017 and will be expected to work a minimum of 12 hours a month. The Poet Laureate will write poetry about the area, do public performances and work with local poets and writers. Part of the mandate is also the creation of a legacy project -- a unique and lasting contribution to the community.
The Poet Laureate is encouraged to bring his or her particular talents to the position. "My interest happened to be poetry in performance and writing poems for special occasions or events," says outgoing Poet Laureate Terry Burns, "But someone else might like to build a bridge between the poetry and visual art worlds, for instance, or concentrate on a series of in-depth poetry writing workshops."
Burns says she is very grateful to have had the honour of serving as Poet Laureate. "I've met such wonderful people and gotten to know many talented writers with whom I previously only had a passing acquaintance. But the best thing for me has been to deliver poems to a wide range of audiences in such a way as to demonstrate that poetry doesn't have to be intimidating or obscure. It's very rewarding to have people take a poem to heart."
The Poet Laureate 2015 to 2017 is a program of the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library with support from the Owen Sound Little Theatre. The program is generously sponsored by John A. Tamming Law, David Madill, CFP of BMO Nesbitt Burns, and Andrew Armitage.
Further details about how to apply for the position are available at or Applications for the position of Poet Laureate must be received by August 4, 2015.


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