Scheier offers Writing Creatively About Grief course(Ryerson)

March 14, 2012

CWWR 530 Writing Creatively About Grief
Course series
Communication & Design Program Area

Students will learn techniques, methods, and devices for writing evocative creative non-fiction (e.g., memoir, personal essay) and poetry on loss and grief. Through the reading and writing of non-fiction and poetry, we will work towards making our experiences of grief speak to others. Subject matter is not limited to the death of a loved one, but can include, for example, a divorce/break up or losing a part of a person through injury or illness.

Note: Instructor: Jacob Scheier.
For more info:
Creative Writing About Grief


Calgary Poet Laureate

August 1, 2011

Here’s the letter the Foundation for Public Poetry had published in the Calgary Herald. The next day, Calgary City Council voted 13-2 in favour of having a Poet Laureate.

Properly paid
By Jack Locke, Calgary Herald July 24, 2011

Funding a poet laureate position can be the wisest investment a government makes. A poet can, and often does, help a community see the daily flaws and foibles that are commonplace. A poet can put those things we take for granted into a new perspective. A poet can illuminate the tiniest detail of daily life so that citizens become more considerate. A poet can help our technologically lusting world from becoming inhumane.

As Calgary’s city council debates the details of creating a poet laureate, I’d have to admit the principle is a great one. However, if city council does not see the great benefit from adequately funding such a position with municipal funds, then they should forgo the position.

An annual $10,000 contribution by the city is like the dandruff that falls from my scalp, almost imperceptible in the global scheme of things. If the city municipal corporation cannot pay a poet a decent sum, then $10,000 solicited from private funders is frankly an insult.

Calgary’s poet laureate should be compensated in a manner commensurate with Calgary’s reputation as a world-class city.

Jack Locke

Jack Locke is poet-in-chief at the Foundation for Public Poetry.

Garth Martens wins RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writer

April 7, 2011

from Writers Trust of Canada

Garth Martens has won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for “Inheritance and Other Poems.” Martens is a 28-year-old, Victoria-based writer whose work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Grain, Island Writer, and the anthology Leonard Cohen: You’re Our Man. He serves on the editorial board for The Malahat Review and works on a construction site in Kelowna, BC. His experience with machinery features prominently in his poetry. “Inheritance and Other Poems” is a selection from his work-in-progress manuscript entitled The Motive of Machines.

Montreal Poetry Prize

April 3, 2011

We’re not involved, but applaud the effort….

The early entry deadline for the competition is April 22. The final deadline is
July 8, 2011.

The Montreal International Poetry Prize will award $50,000 for a single poem in any style and in any English dialect. We will also produce an annual global poetry anthology – something curiously missing from our cultural environment.

To reflect its global perspective, the Montreal Prize has assembled an editorial board of accomplished poets from Australia, Canada, England, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Northern Ireland and the US.

These poets will select 50 poems for the competition’s shortlist, which will be published in a unique global poetry anthology, representing the very latest work from around the world. From these finalists, Andrew Motion will select the winner of the prize. The international nature of our advisory board is a further expression of our global mission and includes Ben Okri, Don Paterson, and Jeet Thayil, to name a few.

As the Montreal Prize is a grassroots non-profit in its first year, we’re appealing to those interested in promoting poetry to help spread the word about our project. So we’re hoping that once you’ve had a look at our website at, you’ll consider informing your students, friends and colleagues about this ambitious, fun and hopefully inspiring new project for poets everywhere. You can also find out more about us at

The early entry deadline for the competition is April 22.

Penn and Möe Show

October 1, 2010

Penn with paper, Möe Clark standing.

Yesterday, on a day when the sky bore down, flooding Canada’s poetry capital, Westmount, Quebec, Penn Kemp(London, Ontario’s Poet Laureate) and Möe Clark(2010 Leonard Cohen Poet In Residence at Westmount High) did the dazzle at Westmount Public Library. Before that, Penn gave workshops at Westmount High and to a large, enthusiastic crowd at the library. I wish I had such energy. Special thanks to Donna Lach and the Westmount Library, Principal Michael Cristofaro and teacher Ryan Ruddick from Westmount High, the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, the Canada Council, the Foundation for Public Poetry, and the Westmount Independent for publicizing the event.

Penn Kemp at Westmount High.

Penn presenting a master class at Westmount Library.

Penn Kemp workshop, Westmount, Sept. 30

September 25, 2010

A one-time only workshop by Penn Kemp, Poet Laureate, London, Ont.
Visions and ReVisions: how to invoke the Muses
4:00 – 5:30 PM, Thursday, Sept. 30
Westmount Library, 4574 Sherbrooke St. West.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late! Only $15.
To Register:

Do you know your Muse? This workshop will explore new ways of reaching the source of creativity. Through sounding and guided meditation, we will tap the glorious energy and source of Inspiration. Participants will develop an abundance of ideas and images, an enhanced awareness of structure and form, and more ease in showing or performing work if you choose. Although the focus will be on writing, these techniques can be applied to the visual arts as well. Please bring pen and paper or your favourite journal.

Exercises from Penn’s book on creativity, What Springs to Mind, give participants direct experience and practical suggestions for spurring the imagination and honing writing skills. Read more on Inspiration will present itself through the kind of coaching that is only possible in a small group and in such a safe setting! Penn shares deep common ground through decades of experience in various realms: the literary arts; community and peace activism; conservation and deep ecology.

About Penn:
Penn Kemp has published 25 books of poetry and drama, ten CDs, six videopoems and a DVD:, Penn is an enthusiastic practitioner of the creativity she teaches; she has been giving workshops for forty years. An intrigue with ancient mythology has taken her on many journeys. Her latest CDs of EcoPoetry are Luminous Entrance and Darkness Visible. Penn presents her Sound Operas on You can read more on and . The Association of Canadian Studies and the Canada Council sponsored Penn’s reading tours throughout India and Brazil. She has performed at arts festivals and conferences around the world, including two Findhorn Arts Festivals and the Glastonbury Goddess Conference. Penn was Canada Council writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, 2009-10.

The workshop will be followed by a separate special performance by Penn Kemp and Möe Clark
(Leonard Cohen Poet in Residence at Westmount High)

7:30 P.M., Thursday, Sept. 30 Westmount Room
Admission: $5

Co-sponsored by the Westmount Library, Playwrights Guild of Canada,
Montreal Poetry Centre, Foundation for Public Poetry (

Performers Spectacular

September 24, 2010


Penn Kemp, photo by Charles Earl

Möe Clark







Penn Kemp and Möe Clark

Thursday, Sept. 30, 7:30 PM

Westmount Room, Westmount Public Library 4574 Sherbrooke St. West

Admission: $5

Penn Kemp, Poet Laureate for London, Ontario &

Möe Clark, Leonard Cohen Poet in Residence, Westmount High School Westmount Public Library is the site of the first Quebec performance by London Ontario’s newly crowned poet laureate and playwright, Penn Kemp, who will be reading from her Sound Opera. She will be joined on stage by Möe Clark, the first Leonard Cohen Poet In Residence at Westmount High.

Penn Kemp will also be providing a master class workshop at the Westmount Library from 4:00 – 5:30 PM, on Sept. 30. For more information or to register, people can call (514) 484-0254 or email

The Leonard Cohen Poet In Residence program was started last year by the Foundation for Public Poetry to honour Westmount’s Leonard Cohen on his 75th birthday. The reading is co-sponsored by the Westmount Library, Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Foundation for Public Poetry and the Montreal Poetry Centre.

Leonard Cohen Poet In Residence(chapter 1)

May 14, 2010

L.C. Poet in Residence Moe Clark(center), teacher Rob Green and young Westmount High poets

Wow. The Leonard Cohen Poet in Residence at Westmount High(Moe Clark) has finished term 1. Starting in Feb. and concluding in May, Moe did a stellar job. And the students were phenomenal: improving their performances, writing, and confidence. Special thanks to teachers Ryan Ruddick, Rob Green and Principal Michael Cristofaro. Special thanks to all supporters of this project, the Westmount High Alumni Assoc., Friesens Corporation, and many others.

Now, back to the fundraising and planning efforts. Volunteers welcome. Contact Jack at publicpoetry(at)

Empire State Book Festival and beyond

April 18, 2010

Jacob Scheier & Nick Appleyard in Albany, NY

Finally have recuperated from the bus ride home. Advice: don’t start reading Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz as the bus pulls from the Albany station. Poetry was not the only thing in motion. Cristin organizes the Urbana poetry slam every Tues. at the Bowery Poetry Club. Okay Montrealers, who’s driving?

Shared a panel with Jacob Scheier and Nick Appleyard, talking about Leonard Cohen You’re Our Man. Sent a copy of the book with Cristin to NYC.

O Canada line selected

February 25, 2010

After considerable review, the Foundation for Public Poetry hereby announces that a line has been selected to forward to Ottawa for the government’s consideration to replace “True patriot love in all thy sons command” in the National Anthem Act.

First, a warm thank you to all who submitted. Entries were received from all 10 provinces. Many were excellent, but alas, only one could be selected.

The line that will be submitted to Parliament via the Canadian Senate is: True patriot love in all persons command. The word “persons” is to be sung with the same “sons” sound as in the current version(i.e. True patriot love in all per/sons command.) Read the rest of this entry »

Buy the Book Online!

October 17, 2009

Buy the book by PayPal or credit card [C L I C K H E R E]

Read An Independent Review

New California review

CBC’s As It Happens Interview (Click on Part 3)

The first Frank Scott Poetry Day

August 7, 2018



2018 FSPD IMG_5745

Rear L-R: Donald Winkler, Helaine Kliger, Bill Thomas, Beryl Wajsman, Ehab Lotayef. Front row: Jack Locke, Sandra Sjollema, Ryan Ruddick. Missing: Julien Feldman. Photo: Mary Shingler

The first Frank Scott Poetry Day is over. The Aug 1, 2018 event was a wonderfully diverse affair with excellent local poets sharing selected works of Frank Scott, sharing their own work, and sharing reminiscences of Quebec’s most important man of letters. A crowd of about 30 persons filled the room at Centre Greene.

Arguably, Canada’s most important poet of the 20th century, Montreal’s Frank (F.R.) Scott was awarded the Governor-General’s award for poetry in 1981 (The Collected Poems of F.R. Scott) and was a mentor to many young poets including Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen.

“He was pivotal in bringing Canadian Poetry into the modern world. Moreover, he was poignant, witty, and critical of the Canadian establishment,” says Jack Locke, organizer of the event.

Marking the 119th anniversary of his birth, Frank was a poet, social democrat, professor of constitutional law, and civil rights advocate.

His poetry books include:
Overture. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1945.
Events and Signals. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1954.
The Eye of the Needle: Satire, Sorties, Sundries. Montreal: Contact Press, 1957.
Signature. Vancouver: Klanak Press, 1964.
Selected Poems. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1966.
Trouvailles: Poems from Prose. Montreal: Delta Canada, 1967.
The Dance is One. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1973.
The Collected Poems of F. R. Scott. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1981.


Inaugural Frank Scott Poetry Day Celebration, August 1, 2018

August 1, 2018

Scott photo

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Place: Greene Centre, 1090 Avenue Greene, Westmount, Quebec.

The first Frank Scott Poetry Day will be held August 1, 2018.

Marking the 119th anniversary of his birth, Frank Scott was a Governor-General’s award winning poet, a social democrat, professor of constitutional law, and well-known civil rights advocate.

Reading their favourite Frank Scott poems, the following will also share a poem of their own:

  • Thomas William (Bill) Evans

  • Beryl Wajsman

  • Ehab Lotayef

  • Helaine Kliger

  • Sandra Sjollema

  • Donald Winkler

  • Ryan Ruddick

  • Julien Feldman

The Frank (F.R.) Scott Poetry Project

April 22, 2018


Scott photo

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Place: Greene Centre, 1090 Avenue Greene, Westmount, Quebec.

The first Frank Scott Poetry Day will be held August 1, 2018.

Marking the 119th anniversary of his birth, Frank Scott was a Governor-General’s award winning poet, a social democrat, professor of constitutional law, and well-known civil rights advocate.

Reading their favourite Frank Scott poems, the following will also share a poem of their own:

  • Thomas William (Bill) Evans

  • Beryl Wajsman

  • Ehab Lotayef

  • Helaine Kliger

  • Sandra Sjollema

  • Donald Winkler

  • Ryan Ruddick


April 21, 2018 – After a long hiatus, Public Poetry is back. And we are planning a Frank Scott Poetry Day for October 15, 2018.

F.R. Scott(1899-1985)  was a Canadian poet, lawyer, Dean of law, civil libertarian, social democrat, and humanitarian.

More details about this event will follow below as details become confirmed.

If you desire more information, please contact <>