Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario

It is an incredible honour to be Cobourg’s Poet Laureate since the end of June 2019. It is humbling too. We have so much talent in our community. We are blessed to live in a town that celebrates the arts and actively creates together.

My first project was launched in 2019 with a new weekly tradition:

In 2020, my second project began a new annual tradition:

In 2021, the third project begins with a new monthly tradition:

  • Poetry Invites: A monthly invitation emailed to subscribers of Poetry Present to be inspired to write poetry by the landscape, people, and places in Cobourg. These prompts led to our evolving eChapbook: Cobourg Present.
  • Letter to a Poet began in July. It is a monthly offering in Cobourg Now: A News Magazine. Each month features a different poem by a local poet and a letter to that poet about poetry and life.

Read My Archives


  • “To honour and nurture the expression of life in Cobourg’s past, present and future and to establish the reputation of Cobourg as a culturally dynamic community.” From the Town of Cobourg’s description of the role.


  • To honour and support the legacies of Cobourg Poets Laureate who have gone before me.
  • To uplift, inspire, and celebrate Cobourg through engaging the community in writing and reading more poetry.
  • To introduce new projects to promote local voices and to encourage writing in community.
    • Weekly poems delivered to your inbox: Poetry Present.
    • Co-create an inspiring artistic walk to engage with the history, people, and places within the town–and write more poetry.
Visit the Poet Laureate page on the Town’s Website.

Poetry in Cobourg

Contact Info


What is Stanza Room Only?

“Stanza Room Only is a community poetry project in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. It has been in existence for 5 years, after being officially approved by Cobourg Town Council. It is a large (or largish) rectangle of sidewalk in front of “Meet at 66 King East” created by {poetry in Cobourg spaces}. This part of the sidewalk is painted purple and exists so anyone who wishes can use chalk to display some words of poetry.”

Who were the previous Poet Laureates of Cobourg?

Eric Winter (1997-2010)
Jill Battson (2010-2011)
Ted Amsden (2011-2019)

What are some local groups for writers?

Cobourg Poetry Workshop (Meets the fourth Thursday of the month at the Woodlawn Inn, Cobourg)
Spirit of the Hills Writers’ Group (Meetings begin at 9:15 am, on the third Saturday of every month, at the Grafton Village Inn, County Road 2, Grafton, ON.)

What are some upcoming Poetry Events?

Third Thursday Reading Series. Meet at 66 King St E, Cobourg. 7:00 pm Doors Open, 7:30 pm Readings Begin. (ON HOLD DUE TO COVID-19)
Word on the Hills Radio Program (Each week the hosts visit with a local author, are introduced to their work and get a glimpse into their lives.)

Would you like to read poems composed by Jessica for local events?

Poems composed for local events
All poems posted on this site

What is Poetry Present?

A weekly email with a poem composed by a writer from Cobourg or nearby. Click here to to subscribe or submit.

Photos from Events