Celebrated as the Bard of Ukraine, Taras Shevchenko (March 9, 1814 – March 10, 1861) was a poet, artist, and influential thinker. A monument in his honor was unveiled in Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Canada Day 1951 and the original Taras H. Shevchenko Museum was opened one year later. That structure, along with its collections, was destroyed by arson in 1988.

On October 20, 2019, the brand-new Taras Shevchenko Museum will open at 1604 Bloor Street West, Toronto, just down the block from the original. Shevchenko’s poetry is prominently featured and the collections are said to be “far superior in size, quality and variety” than its predecessor. In addition to honoring the poet, the museum celebrates Ukrainian culture and the contribution of Canadians of Ukrainian descent to the social, economic, and cultural life of Canada.

Much more information on Taras Shevchenko and the museum here.

Toronto Poetry Map

Along with Tacoma and Portland and Denver and New York’s East Village, the city of Toronto now has a Poetry Map. The Toronto Public Library project, assembled with the guidance of Toronto poet laureate George Elliott Clarke, currently includes around 200 site-specific poems. Click on the location and you get a poem excerpt (sometimes more than one) along with a link to the Library’s book from which the poem is taken. An ongoing effort, the Toronto Poetry Map continues to take suggestions for new poems to add to the map.

a (short) poetry walk

April 28, 2014

A Lake A LaneIn our ongoing interest in all-things-poetry-walk, here’s another addition to the collection: bpNichol Lane. Named for prolific, award-winning and, alas, short-lived writer, Barrie P. Nichol (bpNichol), this poetry walk can be found in an otherwise unremarkable lane behind the building of printer/publisher Coach House Books in Toronto. Nichol was best known for his concrete poetry (no pun intended), but wrote in — and between — many genres. bpNichol Lane contains a single example of his poetry impressed in the pavement.
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Photo by Stefan Powell

two bucks…

November 20, 2012

Get the story and watch the Biblio-Mat here. Thanks to Village Books for the heads-up.

poetry walk…

November 9, 2012

Cedarbrae poetry ~ Rosemary Sullivan

A while back, we mentioned a Toronto poetry mural that includes words from a poem by Dionne Brand, the City of Toronto’s Poet Laureate. In her official role, Brand has continued to put poetry into public view, including an installation at Toronto’s Cedarbrae Library. There, Rosemary Sullivan’s three lines “a man packed a country/ in a suitcase with his shoes / and left” are permanently mounted in bronze lettering embedded in the walkway to the library.

Taken from the poem “Exile” (from Sullivan’s 1991 collection Blue Panic) the words were chosen by Dionne Brand and her advisory committee “as a way to provoke a sense of inquisitiveness in visitors as they enter the recently renovated public library.”

Read the full text of “Exile.” Learn more about Rosemary Sullivan. Read more about the city-wide Poetry Is Public Is Poetry.
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venue: mural

September 11, 2012

Article 13 mural, TorontoPoetry shows up in the most unusual places. Here’s a thousand-square-foot poetry mural in an alley in Toronto that combines words from Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with words from a poem commissioned from Dionne Brand, the City of Toronto’s Poet Laureate.

The mural was produced by Arts Etobicoke, participating in Amnesty International’s Project: Urban Canvas, a mural series celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Read the poem, Article 13, by Dionne Brand.

Toronto Poetry VendorsToronto Poetry Vendors is a mechanical poetry journal which operates out of refurbished gum vending machines. Produced twice yearly, issues consist of 10 single, hand-folded broadsides by 10 Toronto-based poets, which can be purchased from the machines for a toonie [Canadian two-dollar coin].” Fun! TPV has three permanently-installed vending machines around Toronto plus a fourth that travels to festivals and other events. The latest edition of the journal, Spring 2012, included poets from outside Toronto, though the site says, “TPV does not currently accept unsolicited contributor submissions.”

Learn more about TPV on their site or on Facebook.

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