Albert Dumont – Ottawa Poet Laureate (Algonquin Territory)

new Poet Laureate 2021-2023

Big news! I have been selected (by unanimous decision) to be the City of Ottawa’s next Poet Laureate. What a proud moment this is in my life!

The outgoing Poet Laureate (Deanna Young) said in our recent talk, that I will now become the ‘ambassador for poetry’ for the City of Ottawa. I take a quick glance at my life and think, I can do this! Poetry has always been a rich and tremendously healing medicine for me. It is an antidote for a broken heart, often coming in as a healer after heartache has shrunken normally big shoulders to a size where lifting the emotional pain weighing them down no longer seems possible. Poems can do what a doctor often cannot do! Poetry is joy! Poetry is that smile appearing on your face when you realize at the end of a tiring and stressful month that you still have an abundance of energy left in you to celebrate the fact you came out on top. Poetry will make you believe that deep, deep at the bottom of a coal mine, a sunrise awaits, to heal and nourish.

I will promote poetry. I will do it in Ottawa and at Kitigan Zibi (my home community where I was born). I will do all I can to turn young people on to it. I will tell young poets that poetry is fire, it is water, it is the rich earth under our bare feet, it is the playful wind under the shade of weeping willow trees, it is part of the culture of the People of Indigenous bloodline and all others who embrace poetry as one of the main arteries, bringing humanity to all our actions and deeds.

I intend to journal my time as Poet Laureate for Ottawa through the writing of poems. What I produce will be from the lens of a man in the winter of his time. Who I became after my recovery from severe alcohol addiction will be present in my writings. More often than not, the terrible chronic pain I live with too, will insist on having a say in what this Poet Laureate shares in his poems. The activism I’ve done, the racism I’ve been confronted with in my life will roll like a speeding 210 lbs. (my weight) copper-coloured bowling ball towards any ugliness I see in the ‘Town That Fun Forgot’. I have little doubt that no other city in Canada ever had a Poet Laureate quite like me. I survived a 43 ft. fall from a gristmill roof. What other poet can say that! I might become known as the ‘warrior poet’ (some of my poems wear steel-toed moccasins), or the ‘tall poet’ (although I’ve shrunk almost 2” in recent years) or who knows, some folks might call me the ‘crazy poet’. Whatever, I will promote poetry in this city with all the vigour and energy I can muster. If ever there’s a run on pity pots, my advice, stay out of that line-up. Read a poem instead. Life is too short to spend it waiting for someone else to join you in an Ottawa drainage ditch wallowing in self-pity. I’m not the pity pot type and I think my poems prove it.

I want my friends in Quyon, Pontiac County, to know that I have always enjoyed the supportive words you sent my way in recent yers. The oldtimers of the ‘Onion’ (Quyon) I knew back in the day truly inspired my storytelling style and I’m so grateful. I’ll do my best to make you proud.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind

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37 Responses to Albert Dumont – Ottawa Poet Laureate (Algonquin Territory)

  1. ELENA ABEL says:

    Congratulations Albert! Well deserved recognition and a perfect ambassador for poetry. Your poetry and your teachings have a way to speak directly to spirit, and I’m so pleased that Ottawa has recognized you in this way.

  2. Jane chartrand says:

    Congratulations Albert we look forward to your time in such an impressive role all the best stay well Nokomis Jane

  3. Maureen stark says:

    Yes, big and Best news!
    Wisdom has found a way to amplify it’s voice, itself, through you Albert, one of its deepest Ally’s.
    Refreshing news!
    Congratulations!!

  4. Anne-Marie Hogue says:

    Heartfelt congratulations! Albert

    I’m sure you’ll bring lots of inspiring words into being and uplift those who read your poems. You will bring thoughtfulness to your task and good humour. You will be a welcome presence.
    I’m glad you were chosen for this. It is an honour you well deserve. May this new role bring you lots of Joy!

  5. Patricia H. says:

    Hello Albert. What great news for you and also for us! The unique way you express yourself is naturally poetic and will bring us all some joy. Have a wonderful time with this new role!

    Patricia H.

  6. Lyne Major says:

    Cingratulations once again!! Your poems will always open the hearts to become the best of our beings. Love

  7. Benjamin says:

    Congratulations Albert!I am attentive to your Laureate of Poetry actions!

  8. Dan Fraser says:

    Congratulations. Dan Fraser is just finding out his history. Just another great person from his region. Wonderful

  9. Barbara Riley says:

    My congratulations to you and also to the City Council for recognizing the strength and creativity of indigenous artists!

  10. Sara Austin says:

    Congratulations Albert, this is wonderful news!

  11. Frank Wiley says:

    What a beautiful man. An indelible spirit who walks ahead and brings us with him. A light, a beacon. Passionate, compassionate, strong and gentle.
    We are so lucky.

  12. Who this is so great – will be in touch to have you share with the youth of this community and beyond. Continue to shine your light !

  13. Congratulations Albert!
    I look forward to hearing you speak/read poetry.
    Pamela

  14. Isobel Granger says:

    Albert what a great honour, and so well deserved. Congratulations are definitely in order.

  15. Cecile Dumont says:

    Way to go, Albert!
    I’m so very happy for you and full of pride! I know that you will lift the spirits of everyone who will read your inspiring words. It’s wonderful that you’re doing something that you’re passionate about. Creator has blessed you with a gift!

    Congratulations and Warmest Wishes!

  16. Corina Clouthier says:

    Congratulations! I love your work and your encouragement of young people to express themselves through poetry. Bravo!

  17. Chantal says:

    Way to go! Something to be very proud of, hope in your next book of poetry that you put the rain poetry one, which so far is one of my favorite (yeah I know I am repeating.myself). I enjoy reading your inspirations over the years, they give me hope about life itself. Thanks for sharing

  18. Meagan Fumerton says:

    You make us proud.

  19. Michele Bourque says:

    Congratulations. It is great to be acknowledged and recognized for your contributions to poetry. Michele Bourque

  20. Albert, Wonderful wonderful news!! And a wonderful honour…for the city. I remember your support for, and frequent attendance at, Carleton University’s New Sun Conference on Aboriginal Arts. But most of all, as host/organizer, I remember your heartfelt (and beautifully poetic) words of appreciation for the stories told by the invited artists. Your words invariably captured the spirit of love and generosity that distinguished those occasions, and I often cite them when people ask what it was like to be there. So, thank you for being there, and thank you for your heartfelt reflections. I look forward to reading and hearing your further reflections as Poet Laureate. Congratulations, Allan J.

  21. Monty Reid says:

    Congratulations from VerseFest!

  22. Sharon Moon says:

    Congratulations Albert.

    I can’t think of anyone I would rather see in this role. It will be wonderful to hear your voice in this part of Turtle Island. I have enjoyed reading your work very much, and find it speaks to the heart. Exciting.

  23. Linda, The Rev. Dr. Privitera says:

    Poetry indeed is such a healer and the dialogue between writer and reader takes us to places we did not imagine on our own. Congratulations on this recognition of your contributions. Looking forward to the refreshment of our spirits.

  24. Debra Huron says:

    This is the best news I have heard in weeks.
    I believe you will bring honesty, grace, humour and wisdom to this role.
    The city just seemed to get a bit snarter!

  25. Janice says:

    Anyone who is willing to promote poetry in this needful world is a friend of mine! I look forward to the energy you are bringing to this position Albert, especially for the young people who need this medicine and joy. Thank you for your enthusiasm and the wisdom you offer., best wishes

  26. Congratulations Albert,

    Beautiful achievement, and sharing the experiences that you write about, helps people understand that there is more than what we physically see in a person, and your writings, as we read them, will help us understand alot of things we never were aware of in our lives, and how it develops into our physical, mental and spiritual lives…as human beings on this earth, here, each of us, given tasks that we must fullfill…

    Soooo, proud of you, all the best in everything that you do….

    Pat OCallahan

  27. Joanne Ricard Lamirande says:

    Congratulations Albert Dumont. I look forward to reading your poems.

  28. Sylvia Harvey says:

    Congratulations Albert. So great to see you recognized in this way! Sylvia

  29. Sandra Milton says:

    Congratulations Albert. You work tirelessly to help others and your words of wisdom instilled in your poetry will help us through. We all appreciate what you do.

  30. Dan Gagne' says:

    Congratulations Albert, You are blessed, your voice can now has wings

  31. Karen Gervais says:

    Congratulations Albert! I celebrate you! What an amazing honor, choice and recognition by our city of Ottawa. I am already touched by your generous heart to open this new platform so that you can lift the voices of so many, such as the homeless you would like to write their story. This is a testament to your heart’s truth and teachings of love, peace, dedication, inspiration and activism. As I pray under this full moon, I lift my drum to Grandmother Moon and offer you a song. Much love from us to you. Looking forward to this new journey of yours, that you will graciously share.

  32. Rick Cawthorn says:

    Ottawa could not have chosen better. Old fart rock! Get out the a kick it up and teach as you do so well… even in the winter of your time.

  33. Margo Whittaker says:

    Congratulation, Albert,
    What a wonderful honour – I too look forward to reading all your poems.

    From my heart:

    Dear Albert, you bring peace,
    when you share
    your pain, your recovery, your wisdom,
    in poetry and story, you encourage us.

    You invite us to listen to the
    the wind, the world, the Spirit.
    To dwell in the possibilities
    of reconciliation and peace.

    Your generous love
    points us to ways
    we can strengthen the circle,
    we can make each other better people.

    Congratulations again, and peace be with you,
    Margo +

  34. Afuwa Renner says:

    Congratulations to you and cheers to your continued success!

  35. Sheila Minogue-Calver says:

    Well Margo, you are also a poet!! And a friend of Albert Dumont, our city poet laureate! You are a surprising woman!!

    Hugs, Sheila

  36. Ed Connors says:

    Congratulations Albert on receiving this honor. I knew that you are wise through the words and spirit inspired guidance that you have provided to our collective life promotion efforts. However I didn’t know of the love that you have for poetic expression. All along you have been a poet and I didn’t know it! Cheers
    Ed Connors

  37. Joan O'Connell says:

    Congratulation, Albert. The honour is ours that you accepted this role.

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