The Drummond Cairn- The fireplace from the Drummond home now sits in a place of honour beside the Cobalt Public Library



Spring Pulse Poetry Festival 7th annual May 29-31 2 014


At our first Poetry Festival, we gave our first Lifetime Achievement Award to Douglas Pollard owner of the Highway Book Shop, Cobalt.

We were a bit ahead of the curve. Dec 31, 2008 Mr Pollard learned he was in the most recent list of new inductees to the Order of Canada. Our congratulations (again) go to Mr. Pollard for a life well-lived.

In other news this year, as a response to the successful Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in early April 2008, the Town of Cobalt declared Cobalt to be the "Poetry Capital of the North."

The Poetry Map of Canada features our Poet Laureate of Cobalt, giving us a large red dot in the northern part of Ontario.









The sixth annual spring pulse poetry festival has ended with a great success. In Cobalt the lilacs finally bloomed alongside the fragrant poetic perfume's of poetry in the air.Springs literary season of freshness was afire with renewed creations.We hosted a group of poets and musicians from Southern Ontario who came on the Poetbus Express. They were highly impressed with the hospitality received by all. Some of Toronto's most outstanding poets read,launched books, played music and generally mentored and inspired us.

The festival spread its roots into Temiskaming Shores with readings at the Northdale Manor, Extendicare, and the Temiskaming Lodge. A music and poetry reading concert at the hospital was hosted by Linda -Bea Chambers events co-ordinator. The league of Canadian Poets funded a poet in the school programme for Marsha Barber to workshop with students at TDSS, New Liskeard Public,and Haileybury Public in New Liskeard, and finally St. Pat's in Cobalt.
At the Classic Theatre Mezzanine Gallery the Temiskaming Palette and Brush Club hosted and co-ordinated by Tina Silver the Poetic Visions VI Painted Poems reception/award ceremony.First place was Diane Green,Second Iris Shields,and third Diane Green. Honourable Mentions went to Iris Shields, Gayle Scott, and Laura Landers.

On Thursday night at Temiskaming Shores city hall Fun in the Foyer event everyone had fun socializing, reading poetry, and greeting our literary guests. Much great poetry was read at the Haileybury Library on Friday by Toronto poets Mick Burrs, Julie McNeill, Nancy Bullis, and Giovanna Riccio. The songwriting workshop was lead by Kent Bowman with Josh Bowman, Mick Burrs, and Heather Borean. A wilderness/history tour hosted by Norm Hawirko with help from Dan Lacroque was informative and deepened our visitors appreciation of the mining history literally beneath our feet.
Friday night at the Cobalt Public Library saw the re-appointment of Ann Margetosn as our Poet Laureate. Special recognition was given to two of the festivals most vital volunteers Calvin Knight and Emma Laughlin. True pillars of dedication and community service.

Then the Drummond Hour commenced with various poets reading excerpts of Dr. Drummond's poetry and also original pieces by local poets in honour of his life.Drummond researcher David C.Brydges provided a historical overview of his accomplishments and influence.The Dr. William Henry Drummond national poetry contest had their award ceremony hosted by judge Allan Briesmaster. Two hundred and nine poems from all across Canada were entered in the oldest non-governmental poetry contest in Canada.Deborah Cox from St. Catherine's was the overall winner and came to receiver her award and read her winning poem "That Corner of My Garden".
Toronto's Allan Briesmaster, and Sonia Di Placido, along with Stoney Creek poet Fran Figge launched their new books at Studio Luxe Hair Salon in the historic former Bank of Ottawa building from 1911.
Saturday morning poets gathered at the Cobalt train station for the Ontario Poetry Society Temiskaming Branch annual meeting and open Mic hosted by the founder Bunny Iskov from Toronto.Cobalt Public Library board organized a free luncheon followed by the induction into the poetry hall of fame by Jim Sargent. Jane and Mark Sargent were in attendance along with many of his friends but Jim( singing Sarge) was not well enough to attend.Heavy rain fell and almost cancelled the poetry parade to the Dr. Pollard Poetry Park but it stopped in time. We were musically lead by the Haileybury Legion Pipe Band.A ceremony to remember the Silver Shadow Cobalt Dog and 12 white balloons symbolizing each year of his life were released.A major historical event followed with the Cobalt Public School Bell Repatriation ceremony.Many former students were in attendance to welcome back the bell to its original home and more prominent place of recognition.Marilyn Chevrier first Nations elder and her friend Betty gave us a welcome and blessing through song and drum. Mayor Tina Sartoretto cut the golden ribbon and were accompanied by Federal NDP member Charlie Angus Timmins-James Bay, Provincial NDP member John Vanthof Temiskaming-Cochrane, and Cobalt councillor Gino Chitaroni. A reception and music concert followed at the Ann Margetson Gazebo. St. James Anglican Church organized a lovely spaghetti dinner. The final event of the day was a concert at the Miners Tavern Cobalt with Whicked Bridge from Sudbury with Whitney Nielsen and Kevin Morgan. The main act was Guitared and Feathered with Neil Doran and Shane Rose.

A big thanks to Helen Lovekin from the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation for her efforts in fully funding a mini-coach to bring 17 poetbusers from Toronto for the weekend.Special thanks to all our local sponsors and volunteers who simply gave their time, talent, and resources to make the festival a fine expression of community excellence.
Lastly the festival is dedicated to the memory and continued legacy of Dr. William Henry Drummond Canada's most popular poet in the 19 th century who lived ,worked, and died in Cobalt in 1907.
He penned this last verse for his poem Bloom - A Song of Cobalt.
Oh! I've watched the rose's petals,
and beheld the summer sun,
Dipping down behind Olympus,
when the great works day was done;
But to-day I'm weary, weary,
and the bloom i long to see,
Is the bloom upon the cobalt - that's the
only bloom for me.

David C. Brydges
artistic director
spring pulse poetry festival



Dr William Henry Drummond (1854 - 1907)

Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest

Deadline: Friday April 11 2014

Cash prizes totalling $1,200 for poems in English.

We are accepting online submissions. Send poem(s) to with subject heading Drummond poetry contest. Include a separate attachment with contact information of title of poem(s), name address, phone number, email. We cannot accept online payments .Therefore send a cheque or money order to spring pulse poetry festival box 247 Cobalt Ontario P0J1C0. Upon receiving your payment of $10 per poem we will process your submission(s).

More details on rulesFollow here for more information on the Contest rules


Winners 2007-2008 Follow here for 2007-2008 winner's lists. 2009 winners Follow here for winner's lists Winners of 2010  Follow here for winner's lists    Winners of 2011 contest Follow here for winner's listsWinners of 2012 Follow here for winner's listsWinners of 2013





Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,

Who, armed with golden rod

And winged with the celestial azure, bearest

The message of some God.

Thou art the Muse, who far from crowded cities

Hauntest the sylvan streams,

Playing on pipes of reed the artless ditties

That come to us as dreams.

O flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river

Linger to kiss thy feet!

O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever

The world more fair and sweet.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow