“Windsor’s Resilient Voices” Initiative Brings Poetry to the Community During the Pandemic

In honour of National Poetry Month 2021, Windsor’s Poet Laureate Emeritus Marty Gervais and Poet Laureate Mary Ann Mulhern are bringing poetry to the Windsor community in an innovative way.

Throughout April, “Windsor’s Resilient Voices” is placing short six-line inspirational poems on interior advertisement spaces across the Transit Windsor fleet of buses, on social media, and throughout select City of Windsor facilities including the WFCU Centre Vaccination Clinic.

The poems, written and submitted by area poets, including youth, focus on the theme of “Resilience.” The League of Canadian Poets selected “Resilience” as the theme for National Poetry Month this year, explaining the theme as follows: “What does it mean to be resilient? We meet resilience in every corner we’ve ever been backed into, every hardship that we endure. Resilience is geographical, spiritual, historical. It’s the fight against climate change, the inner battle with mental health, the outcry for human rights and an end to systemic racism. Resilience is the backbone of generations of trauma, the silence at the dinner table, the bow to culture’s violin. Resilience is the courage to start each day anew. This National Poetry Month 2021, we celebrate, reflect on and respect the resilience that has made us who we are.”

Gervais and Mulhern selected over 60 poems to display throughout the community.

Quotes:

“I’m proud of this initiative and grateful to the poets who reached out to share their words at this time. This gets poetry out into the community at a time when small acts of kindness and inspiration can help us face the challenges of COVID-19.”
-Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“Resilience is what this town knows best. Time after time we have been through life-changing moments, and we have always bounced back. That is our character, and for the past year, we have shown how, in spite of the challenges and setbacks, we are pushing back; we are lifting ourselves up; we are resilient as we always have been. We will make a difference to the generations to come.”
-Marty Gervais, Windsor’s Poet Laureate Emeritus

“Poetry has truly connected people all across our community throughout the pandemic. These poems present another way to help us pause and reflect not only on all we’re facing together but on the strength, spirit and resiliency that’s helping lead us through.”
-Mary Ann Mulhern, Windsor’s Poet Laureate

“Transit Windsor is delighted to participate in Windsor’s Resilient Voices. It gives us great pleasure to see the mingling of arts and culture with public transit, and I hope that these messages provide hope and uplift people’s spirits in these difficult times.”
-Tyson Cragg, Executive Director, Transit Windsor

Participating Poets:

  • Our Here and Now by Marty Gervais
  • To Survive by Mary Ann Mulhern
  • Candles by Art Williams
  • Alive by Mary Anne Fenton
  • The Sunshower by Nick Hildenbrand
  • Home Away From Home by C. Frank Doyle
  • Effervescent Utterances by Cyndi Shepley
  • The Tower / Le Château by Madeleine LeBlanc
  • Piano Man by Anastasia Kulaga
  • Hope / L’Espoir by Rebecca Brydon
  • The Earth’s Revolution by Serafina Piasentin
  • Light by Heather Reid
  • Dark Light by Robin Wilds
  • Imagination is Key by Maria Ceglie
  • I Choose by Liz Santos
  • One Day at a Time by Heidy Schumacher
  • Rising From the Wreckage by Abby Coutinho
  • Wayfinding by Mark Laliberte
  • We Are Not Alone by Vanessa Shields
  • People With Different Fortunes by Nora Gorges
  • The Strength of Opening the Close Directions by Angelo Yousif
  • What’s Next? By Christine Paris
  • Ungiven by Stephen Pender
  • Need for Nature by Heather McCardell
  • What the World Wants by Rebekah Voegeli
  • In Quarantine by Peter Hrastovec
  • At the Riverside by Mackenzie Gagnier
  • The World is Forever by Andre Narbonne
  • Recuperate by Michael Lee
  • Tales of a Hero by Emmy Longmoore
  • Resilience by Wafaa El-Tawil
  • New Observations by Victoria Hecnar
  • City of Voices by Marie Groundwater-Pottle
  • The Lonely Light by Derek Deneau
  • Still Standing by Deborah Koko
  • PUSH! by Celeste Kurcz
  • Swing and a Miss by Bradley Erdelyan
  • When the Mist Clears by Aryan Bhati
  • Transformations by Samantha Badaoa
  • I Am a Mirror by Mariam Habana
  • Eyes Open by Joanne Laforet
  • Resilience by Angelica Lachance-Friedl
  • Silence by Brandon Cormier
  • White Widow by Julienne Rousseau
  • It’s Always the Last Place U Look by Wade Quenneville
  • Flowers by Samantha Badaoa
  • Resilience by Kai Kristoff
  • To Hope by Sara Scarfone
  • Patience by Julian Villafuerte
  • Change by Alex McCall
  • Solitude by Robin Wilds
  • Purity of Line by MA | DE
  • This Kind of Resilience by Vanessa Shields
  • Embracing by Vanessa Shields
  • The Shape of Distance by Vanessa Shields
  • Resilience Assumes Togetherness by Vanessa Shields
  • Slowdown by Christine Paris
  • Higher Ground by Peter Hrastovec
  • Random by Peter Hrastovec
  • Hope for the Future by Victoria Hecnar
  • Untitled by Laurie Smith

Submission Examples:

To Survive by Mary Ann Mulhern

On my river-walk
I see a goose
Wing broken and torn
A duck with a damaged bill
They survive wind, ice and snow
We will too

The Best of Times by Marty Gervais

We may think the only world is the one
that is virtual – a laptop or smartphone
but turn away, step into a garden, go for a walk
pretend for a moment and gather up the clouds
above you and give yourself a moment to dream

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