Second Day of Poets coming to library this weekend

April 11, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The Orangeville Public Library will, this weekend, be transformed into something of a poetic hub as it plays host to what Dufferin County’s Poet Laureate Harry Posner hopes will become an annual springtime spectacle.

The second Day of the Poets celebration will see nine wordsmiths featured in a full day’s worth of literacy fun on Saturday. Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event, Mr. Posner is keen to establish Day of the Poets as an annual event in Dufferin County.

“Orangeville is looking to be alive with poetry, music and art,” Mr. Posner told the Citizen. “The first Day of the Poets, held in May last year, was a great success. We had something like 20 poets spread across town in various locations. This year, we wanted to put the focus on hosting at one main location and bringing people together in one spot.”

Calling the local library the heart of the community, Mr. Posner said it was an easy choice to decide on what he hopes will become a permanent home for Day of the Poets. This year’s event will feature renowned local poets such as Valentino Assenza, Heather Cadsby, Degan Davis and Steve McOrmond. The likes of Penn Kemp, Day Merrill, Scott Wicken and Croc E Moses will also provide poetry readings.

Headlining the day is “dubpoet” Lillian Allen – someone Mr. Posner is particularly excited to see in action.

“Lillian is something of a legendary poet. Her specialty is dubpoetry, which comes out of the West Indies. It’s a particular kind of poetry concocted by the locals down in the Caribbean. It’s a beautiful rhythmic, almost rap or reggae like, brand of poetry,” Mr. Posner said. “She is a wonderful performer – those in attendance on Saturday will be in for a treat.”

Mr. Posner will also be creating a “poetry walk” for individuals along Broadway, placing poems in the window of several local businesses. Two poetry workshops have also been scheduled, with Garry Diggins leading a session beginning at 10 a.m. and Steve McOrmond running another starting at 11 a.m. Music will be provided throughout the day by Erin Bolton, with five-minute open mics sessions scheduled “every 30 minutes or so”. Orangeville-based artist Ricky Schaede will also be on hand, creating a painting inspired by the words heard and people seen throughout the day.

Having recently been asked by Dufferin County Council to return for another term as the region’s Poet Laureate, Mr. Posner is ready to do his part to promote literacy throughout our community. With April being National Poetry Month, he feels Day of the Poets is the perfect place to begin.

“We had a terrific event last year, the people I spoke to seemed to really love it. I feel Orangeville needs another arts festival to include in the calendar year. Blues & Jazz is a wonderful summer feature, while Headwaters Arts Festival takes centre stage in the fall, but there’s really nothing in the Spring,” Mr. Posner said. “Because April is National Poetry Month, I thought ‘why not carry this festival on as a regular part of the cultural calendar of the community year by year’.”

For more information, contact Mr. Posner at harryposner@


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