Cobourg Poet Laureate

History of Cobourg’s Poet Laureate

Cobourg’s Town Council established the position of Poet Laureate in 1997. The Town’s first Poet Laureate was Eric Winter who, over his appointment, worked diligently to begin to establish the Town of Cobourg as a “go to” place for poetry. The Poet Laureate position acknowledges an individual’s accomplishment in poetry as well as to recognize a champion for all the lively arts, particularly poetry and other literary forms. On March 29th, 2010 the town of Cobourg selected its second Poet Laureate, Jill Battson. On October 3, 2011 the Town of Cobourg selected its third Poet Laureate, Ted Amsden.

Cobourg has a spirited poetry group which hosts monthly poetry events that are open to the public and which have run continuously for many years. The municipality is also the site of a nationally recognized annual weekend festival celebrating National Poetry Month in April.

View Ted Amsden's speech to Council on Monday, October 3, 2011.
View Ted Amsden's poem "What Have You Missed", presented on Cobourg Day, October 17th, 2011.
View Ted Amsden's Volunteeer Award Speech
View Ted Amsden's Robbie Burns Speech
View Ted Amsden's Cobourg Waterfront Speech
View Ted Amsden's poem "The Effect of Roundabouts"
View Ted Amsden's poem "The Bell Tolls".


The Poet Laureate encourages the growth of all arts, but especially literature and poetry, and promotes it within Cobourg. The position of Poet Laureate serves to complement the development and promotion of Cobourg as a cultural community.

The Town believes that attention to poetry, both read and heard, helps deepen the awareness of the citizens of our diverse community about the nature of this artistic form, and about its value as an integral means of communication and self-expression in the modern culture.


The Poet Laureate acts as a literary ambassador for the Town of Cobourg. They are required to write one new, original poem in each year of thier appointment that addresses or reflects one or more aspects of life in Cobourg. This poem will be read at the Mayor’s annual New Year’s Day Levy.

The Poet Laureate also appears during the year at some of the Town’s public events like the Mayor’s Levy, and Canada Day as well as special openings or celebrations.

The Poet Laureate serves as an advocate for literature and participates in the strong and thriving literary life of our Town. Their efforts ensure that our community encourages self-expression by youth through spoken word and written poetry. As well, the Poet Laureate will create a legacy project to enhance our Town’s literary voices and support the other Arts.

Terms of Reference for Cobourg's Poet Laureate


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Poet Laureate