Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? This year’s theme for National Poetry Month from the Canadian League of Poets is the road. We think this is a fitting theme for a year in which Toronto welcomes many newcomers from Syria. Toronto is always welcoming newcomers to the city, and we've all travelled many roads to get here. Whether it was us or our ancestors, every Torontonian has a story about the road they have taken to get to where they are.
Why not celebrate National Poetry Month reflecting on the experiences of newcomers to Canada? The library has a wonderful collection of Canadian poetry and international poetry, as well as stories and poems about the newcomer experience.
Here are some titles to get you started:
Re-Imaging the Sky is an anthology by the Newcomer Women's Collective in Toronto. Newcomer Women's Services Toronto was founded by a group of Latin American refugees in 1983. For the past 30 years, they have been helping immigrant women from all around the world to become part of the wider community.
Immigrant songs: the poems, fiction and letters of Sara D'agostino is a collection of the works of Rosario D’agostino. These writings of an Italo-Canadian writer whose life was cut too short are part of the literary history of the Canadian immigrant.
The Healing Place and Other Poems and Yet Another Home are collections of poetry by Peter Jailall, a teacher, poet and storyteller who lives in Mississauga. He emigrated to Canada from Guyana, and writes about the immigrant experience.
There are also lots of wonderful books in our collection that let us enjoy poetry from all around the world.
The Exile Book of Poetry in Translation: 20 Canadian Poets Take on the World is a multilingual collection of poetry that presents the work of 20 international poets. Each poem is in its original language, alongside English translations by some of Canada's most esteemed poets.
Around the World in Eighty Poems is a collection of poetry for children that includes 80 different poems from over 60 different countries.
Come to the great world: poems from around the globe is another collection of poetry for children which celebrates the diverse experiences of children all over the world.
I hope you will explore the wonderful collections of poetry we have for adults and children. Check out the website for more information on upcoming poetry programs at the library. There are readings, writers' groups and much more happening at branches throughout the city!
I leave you with two lines from a poem from The Exile Book of Poetry in Translation:
Mariposa Malva (Mauve Butterfly)
There she goes, the new season, the spring (…)
The whole winter creaks, exhaling
I'm sure we all hope this is last exhale of winter and that warm spring weather will be here soon! Why not welcome the coming of spring by attending a poetry month program, reading some poetry, or writing your own? Happy National Poetry Month!