In Flanders Fields…

25241478Most countries cannot boast a poem as being something they are famous for, but In Flanders Fields by John McCrae is certainly known as Canada’s most important poem, by far. This year, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the writing of this poem, a new book entitled IN FLANDERS FIELDS: 100 YEARS, WRITING ON WAR, LOSS AND REMEMBRANCE has been released. It is a collection of poems, essays, and more by authors, poets, historians and historical figures from Canada, who have put down their thoughts about the war, the poem, and the poet John McCrae.

We have this book at the library, and it might be a great way to begin this important week. Drop in to see what else we have in our special Remembrance Day window, as well. You’re bound to find something to take home.

Lest we forget.

View Toronto Through Poetry

The Toronto Public Library, with the help of poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke, has created a new way to explore Toronto: through the use of poetry.

They’ve created a fun, interactive map of Toronto that marks the locations of important spots in poetry about Toronto. At each location on the map, information about the poems is listed, and details as to which branch of the Toronto Public Library has that poetry book available is also given. There are also many Toronto poems that aren’t associated with any specific locations, and you can find out more about those on the Toronto Poetry Map as well.




 On Wednesday, March 20, 2013 we invite you to the library for a poetry reading by Claudia Coutu Radmore, author of

a minute or two/without remembering.’


Join us for an inspiring and evocative evening as Claudia transports us back in time to 1672 when her first French ancestor sailed to New France!

Walk in their shoes, listen to their stories, and experience history!

A minute or two/without remembering takes us from Claudia’s seventh great grandmother, Marguerite de Laplace, one of the ‘daughters’ of the king of France, sent to New France to marry a fur trader; to the Cottu family’s relation to Louis Riel; through the ten year Iroquois threat when the family moved into Montreal for safety; ending with the heartbreaking Seven Years’ War, and its aftermath.

I have come to discover that Claudia is a multi-facetted and multi-talented woman. Born and raised in Montreal, Claudia has spent her life as an educator, an artist, and not least of all, a very accomplished wordsmith.

In 1984 she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queens University, Kingston.  She has taught elementary school, high school, and adult education in Quebec and Ontario, and trained pre-school teachers as a CUSO volunteer in Vanuatu 1985-1988.

Claudia paints portraits and landscapes in oils, and writes poetry.  She is well known for her Japanese-form poems, as well as for her lyric poetry.  Claudia has edited the Haiku Canada Anthology for several years, is the owner/editor of Bondi Press, and is the president of KaDo, Ottawa’s haiku group.

Author of Your Hands Discover Me (2010), a minute or two/without remembering (2010), and Accidentals (2011), Claudia also edited letters written to her by Leonard Budgell from Labrador, who was a fur trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, writing the forward to his book “Arctic Twilight” which was published in 2008.  Now retired, Claudia has made Carleton Place her home since 2004. As these are just some of the highlights of Claudia’s career, please visit her website at for more info.

So, please join us Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 7-9 p.m. as we listen to the voices of Claudia’s ancestors.   It’s free – just call 613-257-2702 to reserve your spot!


Is there anything more wonderful that this? This little three year old (he’s probably all of four, now), reciting the poem “Litany” by Billy Collins. Did I mention it was completely by heart, and with feeling? According to his mom, he just loves poetry and loves to memorize.

Listen to the entire thing. It will bring your day to a halt, a smile to your face and a light to your heart.

Are you a poet?

Poetry can be difficult enough to write, but how about a little help from a book?  No, not a poetry lesson book, but an actual book cover. It’s called Book Spine Poetry and all it takes is a few books, a little creativity and a camera. Just choose your books, line them up and voila…poetry!

In the US, April is National Poetry Month and the creative actions behind Michigan librarian Travis Jonker has produced tons of great examples and ideas at his blog called 100scopenotes.

It’s a great idea to use with kids on a rainy afternoon or just something fun to try yourself with the books on your own bookshelf. Even if it isn’t National Poetry Month, you can always do with a little creative boost.  And don’t forget, it doesn’t have to rhyme!