Burlington Lyrics & Poetry Festival

April is National Poetry Month and here in Burlington, we are celebrating poetic creativity in all its forms during the 1st annual Burlington Lyrics & Poetry Festival. With an exciting schedule of virtual talks and workshops, we invite you to join us as we salute poetry, poets, and all things poetic.

From the simple and delightful rhymes learned in childhood—to sonnets that speak to the heart—to verse that gives voice to the darkness of human experience, poetry is a powerful and universal form of expression and communication, unbound by time or place or age, that enriches our cultural narrative. Whether sung or slammed, written or recited, through poetry we declare who we are, how we feel, what we think, dream, and aspire.

Hey, Burlington - Take the Love of Poetry Challenge! Can we collectively read 1,000 poems in April—we think we can!

If you delight in the magic of language and the power of words, don’t miss our Meet the Poets live virtual events, featuring three acclaimed Canadian poets, including two Parliamentary Poet Laureates of international renown. For the younger crowd, unleash your Inner Poet in a dynamic and dramatic way with Art Express!

Is writing your thing? Along with poetry writing workshops, we're thrilled to host a special series of inspirational songwriting conversations with Sound of Music Festival CEO, Myles D Ruddick featuring lyricists across various musical genres.

So, bring your curiosity, creativity, and imagination—and come along on this month-long exploration of lyrics and poetry!

We look forward to hosting in-person and virtual festival events next year. Please bookmark this page and follow #BurlLPFest to get the latest festival news.

MEET THE POET

Alexandra Oliver, poet, author, essayist, lecturer – Apr 8, 2-3pm
Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer, Cree poet, elder, current Parliamentary Poet Laureate – Apr 12, 2-3pm - click to watch
George Elliott Clarke, author, playwright, literary critic, former Parliamentary Poet Laureate  – Apr 28, 2-3pm

WORKSHOPS & PRESENTATIONS

NaPoWriMo Workshop with Meaghan Strimas, Apr 5 & 19, 6.30-7.30  
Songwriters Café with Suzie McNeil – Apr 6, 2-3pm
Songwriters Café with Abby J Hall – Apr 13, 2-3pm
Songwriters Café with Dave WanlessApr 20, RESCHEDULED DATE: Apr 29, 2-3pm
Songwriters Café with Brandon Howard Roy – Apr 27, 2-3pm
The Art of Haiku - Writing Workshop with Kimiko Horne – Apr 9, 2-3.30pm
Haiku Poetry for Youth with Elizabeth Crocket – Apr 23, 11.30am-12.30pm
First World War Canadian Poetry with Museums of Burlington – Apr 21, 2-3pm
Play with Poetry with Arts Express – Sat April 30, 10-10.30am (kids) & 2-2.40pm (youth)

& MORE

Rhyming Family Storytime – Tuesdays, Apr 5, 12, 19, 26, 10-10.30am
TelePALS Poetry Favourites – Apr 5, 2-3pm

Participating partners

City of Burlington
A Different Drummer Books
Burlington Mundialization Committee - Itabashi
Sound of Music Festival

View all Festival events

BPL Staff Picks - our recommended lyrics & poetry booklists

Parliamentary Poet Laureate: Poem of the Month call for submissions

CBC Poetry Prize call for submissions

League of Canadian Poets - Poetry contests, prizes and awards across Canada

National Poetry Month

Burlington Literary Festival (Nov 2022) presenter inquiries