Welcome to Sunshine in a Jar

Jessica Outram (she/her)

I’m Jessica Outram, a Métis author, poet, playwright, artist, singer, and teacher. Co-Host of The Hummingbird Podcast.

I’m the author of The Thing with Feathers (poetry collection) and Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold (children’s novel). By day I work as a centrally assigned Principal of Indigenous Education for a school board in Ontario, supporting K-12 curriculum and individual Indigenous students in nearly 100 schools. I’ve worked as an educator for almost 25 years.

My day job is rewarding and I know there is more work for me to do outside of the school system. For over 20 years, I’ve actively engaged in community in theatres, choirs, galleries, and writing circles. I am the 4th Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario. I’ve been creating in community for over 30 years. 

Teaching virtual classes and creativity coaching are passion projects for me (and the work I do on evenings and weekends). I am a teacher with a strong calling to teach in this way. 

Sunshine in a Jar is my digital scrapbook of ideas, stories, and projects. Click here to subscribe to my email newsletter.

New Book Releases:

Now available for pre-order!

Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold

Second Story Press

It’s the summer of 1914. Eight-year-old Bernice lives with her family in a lighthouse on Georgian Bay. One day Bernice wakes up to find a stranger named Tom Thomson sleeping in their living room. When she overhears him talk about gold on a nearby island, Bernice is determined to find it. Inspired by her beloved Mémèr’s stories of their Métis family’s adventures and hardships, Bernice takes the treasure map the stranger left behind and sets out in a rowboat with nothing more than her two dogs for company and the dream of changing her family’s fortunes forever.

The Thing With Feathers by Jessica Outram

Piquant Press

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –

Emily Dickinson

The Thing With Feathers takes you on an intimate journey of truth, transformation, and healing of spirit. From cherry blossom tree trunks to the shores of Georgian Bay, these poems evoke reverence, recalling past lives and ancestral Metis blood memory passed down from grandmothers.
~ Sarah Lewis, Poet Laureate, Peterborough ON

Poetry that’s both affective and effective in recognizing the power of expression as a means of revealing the human spirit. There is clarity of language in these poems, and in that clarity the reader finds what it means to feel alive.
~ Antony Di Nardo, Poet

Click here to read Anthony Di Nardo’s full-length review of The Thing with Feathers.

Here are poems that “show a way to build belonging.” With clarity and sharp imagery, Outram’s poetry aches with the will to transform. They swirl “beyond the whirlpool of rules” “because it’s all possible.” Slowly, a new self emerges by “breaking down threads / pulled by uncertainty.” Through the deliberate act of seeing, facing, and confronting, a knowing, more integrated self comes to light. A fresh, vivid and heartfelt debut.
—Catherine Graham, Poet, Aether: An Out-of-Body Lyric and The Celery Forest

Click here to read Kate Rogers’ review of The Thing with Feathers.

Sunsets in Britt: A Georgian Bay Tradition

Book of photography by Jessica Outram.

Released October 2021, Sunshine in a Jar Press.

Nurture Your Creative Spirit

A weekly podcast about identity, healing and wellness, the spirit of place, and the pull of mystery.
Online classes led by Jessica.

Read More by Jessica Outram

A Play in Two Acts.

Land Acknowledgement

I respectfully acknowledge that the posts on this site were written on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg and the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg. I am grateful for the First Nations of these territories, for their care and teachings about the land. As people of the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 and the Williams Treaty of 1923, we continue our journey to strengthen our understanding of our Treaty relationship and of how to move forward together in a good way. I acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of all Indigenous people across Turtle Island, current and throughout history.

The land and the waters will always be Indigenous lands and waters. They continue to teach important lessons every day.