On Writing

First Poem, First Week – Life of a Poet Laureate!

Let’s begin with the poem…

What a week…

On Monday, May 9th, 2022 at about 4:45pm, the news of my new role as Poet Laureate became official. By 5pm, my socials were on fire as was my inbox. I couldn’t keep up with the incoming messages of joy and congratulations! (This is not my ego talking, but my bursting heart!) I am still responding to friends and family’s kind words of encouragement and excitement. I am so filled with gratefulness.

On Tuesday morning, I was interviewed by the fine folks at CBC Windsor Morning. On Tuesday, I started teaching the Poetry of Flowers class. On Wednesday and Thursday I visited two elementary schools to talk about poetry. On Friday, I was interviewed along with the Teajai Travis, the Multicultural Storyteller and Theresa Simms, the Indigenous Storyteller, by Dan MacDonald on the Dan MacDonald show on AM800. Wednesday night, we celebrated Christopher Lawrence Menard’s book launch for his poetry collection, at the end, beginnings – he was in great health and spirits! On Thursday, we celebrated the launch of Margo Wheaton’s new poetry book, Rags of Night in Our Mouths via zoom. On Saturday, we had an incredible Poetry Circle, featuring Christopher Lawrence Menard. And in between, I met with writers to work on their fascinating and exciting writing projects – as editor, mama is working all the time! Come Saturday at 12:30pm, when the week’s events had come to an inspired end…I was wild with the need to stop and rest, to reflect, to let it all sink in deep, deep, deeper.

A visual journey of the week…!

Throughout the week, there were times when I was so exhausted I dry-sobbed. I experienced bouts of heat-inducing (mostly boob sweat) ecstatic energy when I realized for those several seconds: I am a Poet Laureate. Me! Whaaaaaat?! It is an extraordinary experience living a dream. A dream that I’ve had for many years. A dream that got very close during the application process and the interview process…that was swinging from my heart – forward-and-back, forward-and-back for weeks and weeks. Oh, the plans I made! And then – it happened! The dream did a full triple flip off my heart, landing perfectly in my soul with a soft thud – you are it, Vanessa!

Now…I’m makings lists of initiatives. I’m sending connection emails and messages. I’m staring at my schedule and deciding which days to dedicate to writing poetry in the community. I’m wondering how the heck I’m gonna manage this blog, plus my socials, plus the new poet laureate website I’m making…and how to share it all with you! These are incredible challenges, I know. I know!

And so…here we go! This is it! This is happening! I am learning. I am scared. I am ecstatic. I am thrilled. I am Poet Laureate!

This week, on the docket: meetings, full-day poetry workshop at Assumption High School (the high school I went to!), the Windsor Endowment for the Arts grants and Mayor’s Award event on Friday, and on Saturday, my first official City of Windsor event as Poet Laureate as part of the 130th birthday celebration for Windsor. Oh, and finish my website! Ack!

Thank you for all your support, friends. I really, truly, absolutely am grateful!

Look at us! From left, Poet Laureate Emeritus, Marty Gervais, Me, Indigenous Storyteller, Theresa Simms, Multicultural Storyteller, Teajai Travis, and Youth Poet Laureate, Alexei Ungurenaşu. Photo by Ted Kloske.

One thought on “First Poem, First Week – Life of a Poet Laureate!

  1. Hi Vanessa, Wow, what a way to begin! This is wonderful! Now, the world of poetry is open to you! Great start to a terrific journey as “ Windsor’s Poet Laureate “ Enjoy the ride, it’s amazing!!

    Hugs, Mary Ann

    Sent from my iPad



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s