Dreaming Emily Carr

Poetry Is Public On August 26, 2010 a new Poet Laureate initiative, “Poetry is Public is Poetry”, creatively showcases and celebrates the work of Canadian poets. On a series of six panels located in front of the Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), passages from 34 prominent writers artistically intertwine with the panel’s visual backgrounds, which were created by internationally known graphic designer and illustrator Frank Viva.

This ambitious public art and written word project features verses by; Lillian Allen, Margaret Atwood, Ronna Bloom, Roo Borson, Dionne Brand, Jason Camlot, Leonard Cohen, Lorna Crozier, Daniel David Moses, Don Domanksi, Stan Dragland, George Elliott Clarke, Catherine Graham, Phil Hall, Angela Hibbs, Eve Joseph, Ehab Lotayef, David W. McFadden, Don McKay, Steve McOrmond, Anne Michaels, Jacob McArthur Mooney, Motion, Michelle Muir, Michael Ondaatje, Joanne Page, Alison Pick, Maureen Scott Harris, Anne Simpson, Sue Sinclair, John Steffler, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Paul Vermeersch and Jan Zwicky.

Dionne Brand proposed, and is developing this idea in the belief that poets have contributed enormously to the city’s sense of itself but that their contribution is not always apparent in the public sphere. Recognizing that poetry is essentially a private act – conceived, written and often read alone – makes expanding poetry into the public realm an exciting challenge. The physicality of the text provides a reflective dialogue that can serve as a catalyst for providing a sense of well being, identity and even happiness.

Poetry is public

In The NewsRonna Bloom