Windsor to Welcome Poets Laureate From Across Ontario for Poetry at the Manor Vol 11

City of Windsor Poet Laureate Emeritus Marty Gervais and Poet Laureate Peter Hrastovec will host the upcoming popular annual Poetry at the Manor on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at historic Willistead Manor in Walkerville.

For Poetry at the Manor – Vol. 11, the line-up of guest poets includes Jillian Morris (Poet Laureate for Collingwood), Tyneisha Thomas (Poet Laureate for Barrie), Susan McMaster (past president of the League of Canadian Poets), and Roger Nash (former Poet Laureate for Greater Sudbury). The evening will also feature special appearances by the City of Windsor’s Youth Poet Laureate Chidera Ikewibe, Indigenous Storyteller Theresa Sims, and Multicultural Community Storyteller Teajai Travis.

Jillian Morris is a Collingwood writer, poet and storyteller whose work is regularly featured in local and regional publications. Morris is using her term to present work on themes relevant to the citizens of Collingwood and utilizing poetry and storytelling as a means to help connect her community. As Kanien’kehaka, a member of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Jillian’s poetry layers traditional teachings and interconnection with the natural world to explore identity, redress untruths and foster connection. Her poem A Tribute to our Stolen Spirits is installed at the Awen Gathering Circle. Morris is a former federal public servant and, in addition to writing, she is a researcher, creator, public engager, mother, wife, and bridge builder. She is also a member of the Unity Collective where she finds endless reward in volunteering and working to build relationships, capacity and understanding.

Tyneisha Thomas released her debut poetry collection, Bearing Fruit, in 2020, and it is available on most distribution networks. As a self-published bestselling author, Thomas (also known as Ty the Poetess) uses her position as Barrie’s Poet Laureate to create more works of poetry that are available to the public. Through her writing, she seeks to highlight mental health and motherhood struggles while creating one-of-a-kind poetry concerts that highlight the entire arts community, as well as literature.

Susan McMaster’s poetry has been described as “muscular, candid, intimate yet universal ... with an open, seemingly effortless control of her craft.” (Heather Spears, Governor General’s award winner) A past president of the League of Canadian Poets, she is author or editor of 30-plus poetry books and recordings, and her work has been widely anthologized. McMaster’s midlife memoir, The Gargoyle’s Left Ear, recounts founding Branching Out, the first Canadian feminist/arts magazine; and performing with First Draft, SugarBeat, and Geode Music & Poetry cross Canada and on shows such as Morningside, As It Happens, WordBeat, Richardson’s Roundup, and GO! She worked for two decades as a senior book editor at the National Gallery of Canada, editing more than three dozen catalogues, several with contemporary Canadian poetry, and founding Vernissage magazine, including ekphrastic poetry from some two dozen poets nationally. Her newest poetry collection, Grounded (2023), is being released by Windsor’s Black Moss Press.

Roger Nash grew up in Egypt and Singapore, coming to Canada in 1965. He is a past president of the League of Canadian Poets. As president, he helped create the Canadian Poet Laureate position, arguing for it in the Senate. He has won a number of literary awards, including the Canadian Jewish Book Award and the Confederation Poets Award (twice). His extensive body of work includes the new release from Windsor’s Black Moss Press World of Difference (2023), Upsidoon (2014), The Camera and the Cobra (2012), Sound of Sunlight (2012), Something Blue and Flying Upwards: New and Selected Poems (2006), The Poetry of Prayer (2004), and In the Kosher Chow Mein Restaurant (1996), among many other books, articles and anthologies. His work is also featured in A Manor of Words: Poetry at the Manor 10th Anniversary Anthology (2022). Nash is a keen kayaker and bush-walker, and is returning to Windsor once again to participate in this reading.

Biblioasis Bookshop will be onsite selling books by the visiting poets, along with other poetry collections, with the poets sticking around afterwards to sign books and visit with attendees. Refreshments will be provided by Thyme To-Go, Willistead Manor’s exclusive caterer. The free event, part of Willistead’s At the Manor series, is typically standing room only. Doors to the manor will open at 6:20 p.m.


“Windsor is proud to once again play host to poets laureate and other special guest poets from across the province. On behalf of the City of Windsor, we welcome our guests and offer our thanks to each of them for joining us for this annual literary tradition at Willistead Manor where they will share the stories of their communities and their lives with our local poetry lovers and youth in area schools. It’s wonderful to see Poetry at the Manor return for this eleventh installment in the series, and I congratulate our Poet Laureate & Storytellers team for continuing to bring these opportunities to Windsor.”
- Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“This remains, by far, the most popular poetry event in Windsor. We were the first to do this, and it is fantastic to be celebrating our eleventh year of this wonderful and intimate reading, once again welcoming poets laureate who have such diverse bodies of work to share with us.”
- Marty Gervais, Poet Laureate Emeritus, City of Windsor

“It is a privilege to co-host this stellar program with Marty. As in the past, our audience will experience a showcase of rich, incomparable local and national literary talent in the most sublime of settings. In a word, Poetry at the Manor is wonderful.”
- Peter Hrastovec, Poet Laureate, City of Windsor

Poetry at the Manor – Vol. 11 is presented by the City of Windsor, through the Culture and Events Department, and in partnership with Black Moss Press, the League of Canadian Poets, Biblioasis, and Thyme To-Go.

Find more information on the City of Windsor’s Poet Laureate and Storytellers program, visit