City of Windsor’s Poets Laureate and Storytellers Unveil Online Zine/Collection of “Windsor’s Voices” for National Poetry Month


Late in 2023, the City of Windsor’s Poet Laureate and Storytellers team launched the “Windsor’s Voices” initiative to bring poetry to the community in an innovative way as part of National Poetry Month 2024. 

Windsor poets, storytellers, writers and photographers of all ages were invited to submit original poems, stories or photos on one of two themes: what Windsor means to you; and “weather” – the League of Canadian Poets’ 2024 theme for National Poetry Month. Submissions were accepted from December 18, 2023, to February 16, 2024, and resulted in 55 poems, 5 stories/reflections, 23 photos, and 1 artwork submission. Following review by the team, 38 poems, 7 stories/reflections, 17 photos, and 1 artwork were selected for inclusion in an online zine/collection launched by the City.

This collection of creative works celebrates neighbourhoods, events, traditions, landmarks, places, spaces, experiences, thoughts and inspirations that all reflect on what makes Windsor special. Through this initiative, the team delivers on the goals of the program, which include promoting poetry and storytelling, in many forms, to a wide and appreciative audience while strengthening the public’s relationship to poetry, storytelling and the creative arts.

Over the course of the month, printed copies will be made available for Windsor Public Library branches in the community, and selections from some of the pieces will be displayed on televisions at various community centres and City facilities for a period of time. In addition to publication in the zine/collection, participating creatives will receive a Certificate of Recognition from the City of Windsor.

Submission Examples:

Shouldn’t We Make Ourselves Known, by Cassandra Caverhill
-after a hike in Ojibway Prairie

I walk the cathedral aisle, a bundled bride
while huddled congregants of birch and oak look on.

Fallen rust and copper shards crunch
underfoot, giving me away. Ahead,

A coyote canters and then sits,
regally, upon an altar of awe.

We two, unsure animals
scrutinizing distances:

which of us is more wild;
which of us the most free?

Budimir, by Alison Alleyn

Our stroller shakes on an uneven sidewalk
A wrapper crinkles, small sticky hands reaching (always reaching).
We have walked the same path countless times this summer
Crossing the ditch, then waiting for the walking man to tell us to go
Yet when we enter that space, both old and new, there is novelty.
We are unquiet.
Yes, we can borrow one more. Yes, we can stop at the park.
What is it about a library that smells so good?
What is it about a library that feels like home?
The answer is somewhere in that packed stroller,
full of everything good.
Children and books.

New Poetry Collection – “Where The Map Begins”

Also for National Poetry Month, the City of Windsor partnered with the University of Windsor’s Editing and Publishing Practicum courses and Black Moss Press to support publication of “Where The Map Begins – Windsor Through Poetry”, which launched on April 2, 2024. This collection features work by fourteen poets, each hailing from one of Windsor’s ten wards. With a focus on history, memory, and identity, the collection explores what it means to be from Windsor, and honours the landmarks, neighbourhoods, and individuals that make up the story of the city.

“The lines of these poems urge us to look at ourselves,” said Windsor’s Poet Laureate Emeritus, course lead, and collection publisher Marty Gervais. “This is our story, mapped in the patterns of roads, houses, and storefronts that reach out from the river.”

This is the sixth publication in the South Shore Collections series of books created through the City’s Poet Laureate and Storytellers program that help to capture, preserve and share Windsor’s stories with the community. Readers can purchase “Where The Map Begins” at

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