In the news:
1. Leonard Cohen Poet-In-Residence selected
2. Leonard Cohen You’re Our Man Humanetry Tour 2010
3. Oh Canada Poetry Contest

Leonard Cohen Poet-In-Residence selected
The selection committee of the Leonard Cohen Poet-In-Residence program has chosen a poet. The individual selected will be announced at a public event in the first week of February. The poet will receive an honorarium of $2,000 per month, to engage students to become interested in poetry(in all its many forms) and for the poet to work on their own poetic project(s). Should more funding be found, the term may be extended. However, for now, there will be a Leonard Cohen Poet-In-Residence at Westmount High School(Leonard’s alma mater.) Thanks to members of the selection committee, Ryan Ruddick(representing Westmount High,) Jordan Smith(representing the Westmount High Alumni Association,) and  Jack Locke(F4PP.)

Leonard Cohen You’re Our Man Humanetry Tour 2010
Thirty-one readings, thirty-one cities, and a bus(or van-full) of poets. Departing from Montreal on April 9, 2010, arriving in California on April 23, heading north to Vancouver and then crossing the continent again to return to Montreal on May 9. The tour is a fundraiser for the Leonard Cohen Poet-In-Residence program and will be promoting the book, Leonard Cohen You’re Our Man(available online ) and the work of the touring poets.

Not much is currently confirmed, but some of the venues contacted include: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Empire State Book Festival(Albany, NY) and Canadian, Texas. Yes poets, there is a place in Texas by the name of “Canadian.” Donation of a bus, a motor home, or other vehicle is being sought, as are funds to support this rather complex undertaking. The 15,000 kilometre trip will primarily include poets from the 75 poet anthology tribute to Cohen, but will likely include others.

In addition to public readings, the Humanetry Tour(humanity + poetry) will make a number of stops at hospitals, schools, correction facilities, mental health facilities, etc. In California, the band of travelling poets will meet up for a reading with the 8 poets from that state who are included in the book. Keep an eye on the Foundation for Public Poetry’s blog for updates(

Oh Canada Poetry Contest
When things bother me enough, I cannot sit still. A number of years ago, a group of Canadians sought to change the gender-oriented words of our national anthem:
O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command….

Well, our Parliamentarians refused to change the lyrics. With the recent death of journalist Michelle Lang in Afghanistan, three things occurred to me:
1. Words and poems matter;
2. Equality matters; and
3. Our national anthem sucks.

So with that in mind, the Foundation for Public Poetry is launching the Oh Canada Poetry Contest. The goal is to rewrite one line, and only one line, ” True patriot love in all thy sons command.”

1. The winning line will be selected by The Foundation for Public Poetry, perhaps in consultation with others;
2. If the winning line is submitted by numerous people only one will be selected, by a random draw;
3. The selected winner will receive $20 and a copy of Leonard Cohen You’re Our Man;
4. The winning line will be sent to the House of Commons requesting that the National Anthem be amended;
5. Entrants must submit their 1 line via email to: with thesubject line “Oh Canada submission” Submissions addressed incorrectly, or that do not comply with all rules will not be considered;
6. Entrants must live in Canada and must include their name, address, postal code, and phone number with their submission;
7. Only one entry per person;
8. The decision of the judge(s) is final;
9. Entrants agree that they own no rights to the line submitted, it will be considered a gift to Canada. THIS LINE MUST BE COPIED AND PASTED AND INCLUDED WITH EVERY SUBMISSION.
10. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2010 at midnight.

The official lyrics can be found at

A Happy New Year to all (sons, daughters, etc.)
Jack Locke, news editor

Foundation for Public Poetry/Fondation Poésie Publique
A Canadian federally-registered, non-profit corporation(No. 448369-3)
P.O. BOX 23044, 5038 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, Quebec,  Canada. H4A 1S7

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