• Georgian Bay

    Southeastern Georgian Bay Landscape Photos

    Every summer I spend hours in the boat taking photographs of the landscape I love so much. It still amazes me how every day is different out on the bay.

  • Books

    The Writing Spiral by Jessica Outram

    Available at Let’s Talk Books in Cobourg, Ontario. Nearly sold out!

    About the Book

    In The Writing SpiralJessica Outram, an educator and writer, shares eight thematic spirals that explore how we can cultivate a writing life that guarantees growth and development.

    This book offers a theory about how writers learn. Using the contributions from 30 emerging and experienced writers, The Writing Spiral demonstrates the way learning about creativity, courage, solitude, community, ambition, perseverance, curiosity, and love develop mastery to make an expressive, inspired writer.

    A comprehensive learning program designed to call writers to action, this book utilizes research-based learning strategies, humour, metaphor, and interactive exercises to awaken the learner in you. To become a better writer, you need to become a better learner.

    A diverse collection of poems, stories, memoirs, and essays take you on a journey around layers of experience, knowledge, and inquiry to awaken your writing core.

    The Writing Spiral offers a new vision that encourages us to define our writing spirals: to embrace reflection and analysis, to love learning, and to courageously write our truths and share our stories.

  • Poetry Invites

    Poetry Invites September

    Inspired By Birds in Northumberland

    What have you noticed about birds in Northumberland?

    Write a poem for Cobourg Present, our evolving eChapbook.

    This month you are invited to write a poem about birds. It amazes me the diversity and abundance of birds here in every season. Some days it’s hard to get to the laundry because the cardinals are singing. When I work from home, mourning doves coo outside my windows during my online meetings. The grackles fight over the bird seed and the robins build nests in my eaves.

    What is your relationship with birds? How could you capture their personalities and stories in a poem?

    This month our poetry focuses on how we observe or relate to the natural world around us throughout any season.

    You are also welcome to revisit a prompt from an earlier month and submit a poem at any time. Click here to see the archive of prompts.

  • Principal

    A Poem for the First Day of School

    The First Day of School
    On the first day
    possibilities thrive
    dreams come alive
    together we create and relate.
    Our classroom holds the universe
    in the eye of each child.
    We can learn on the moon
    dancing like a balloon in zero gravity
    reading about oceans
    as you float on the boat 
    that was once your chair
    in a classroom daring to become a jungle.
    Stretch your words
    taste each number
    go outside and notice
    what’s growing in the schoolyard. 
    Watch closely 
    when the seasons change.
    Write your story
    show your friends
    share who you are and 
    sing with your eyes.
    Every question is an adventure,
    an invitation to change the world
    to be kind, understanding this 
    is what it means to be human.
    We celebrate being alive
    with wonder and belonging
    everyone here a twinkling star
    in the system of our community.

    © Jessica Outram

    This poem was revised in September 2021.

  • Poet Laureate of Cobourg

    Eye to Eye She Understands

    To write the poem for the Eye to Eye International Film Festival, I began with the phrase ‘eye to eye’ and reflected on the themes of vision, agreement (’seeing eye to eye’), and the impact of story in different forms as we move through our day.

    We are all story and story is everywhere when we give our attention to it. In this poem I also wanted to explore the power of film to transform us, to help us to see our world and our lives differently through the storytelling and the stories of others.

  • Poetry Invites

    Poetry Invites August

    Inspired By Legacy in Northumberland

    What influences you or inspires you about Northumberland?

    Write a poem for Cobourg Present, our evolving eChapbook.

    This month you are invited to write a poem about a local person, place, or project that has impacted you. There are many examples of legacy here. Recently the Cobourg Ecology Garden celebrated its 25th Anniversary. I’ve heard of local businesses that have closed or will soon close that made a big impact on people. We have traditions like prom parades and the Highland Games. There are the love locks by the frink. Memories on the pier. Concerts at the gazebo.

    What legacy or tradition catches your attention? Maybe you will write about something from long ago that you wish was still here. Your poem can be about anything connected to legacy, tradition, and influence. Who, what, or where impacts you?

    This month our poetry focuses on the things we want to hold onto, the memories and stories we share over time, the way a place can change our lives even in the smallest of ways.

    Let’s celebrate the spirit of legacy.

    You are also welcome to revisit a prompt from an earlier month and submit a poem at any time. Click here to see the archive of prompts.

  • Poet Laureate of Cobourg

    Letter to a Poet Archives

    A new monthly column in Cobourg Now: A Local News Magazine. Each month will feature a poem by a local poet and a letter to the poet about poetry and life.

    My hope is that we can connect more readers to our wonderful poets and that we can encourage people to write poetry.

    Each month a link to the column will be added here: