Jessica Outram

This week we talk to Jessica Outram.Jessica says, she’s been lucky to have time to pursue the things she loves. She’s a playwright, director, actor, singer, publisher, reader, teacher, principal, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and poet. She’s member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, a proud citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and a Creativity Coach and Reiki Practitioner. In June 2019 she was appointed Cobourg’s Poet Laureate. For more than twenty years, she’s worked as an educator in Ontario in both Elementary and Secondary schools. This year she begins her new appointment as Principal of Indigenous Education for the Kawartha Pine Ridge School Board. Creativity-in-community is important to her. She is a member of a number of local groups to which she contributes her many talents, including Northumberland Players, SONG and Safe Haven as well as the Northumberland Festival of the Arts.

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P. J. Thomas

Meet PJ Thomas. Born and raised on Lake Ontario, PJ relocated to Peterborough to attend classes and became editor-in-chief of the Trent University newspaper, Arthur. She went on to edit several local publications and was the first executive director of the 4th Line Theatre Company. Thomas also promoted contemporary Canadian music until becoming disabled. She has since marked a triumphant return to literature with two novels published to critical acclaim. In autumn 2020 she launched her first book of poetry, Undertow. Thomas also wrote lyrics that were nominated for a 2021 Juno Award as part of Rick Fines’ album, Solar Powered Too. In 2021 her work was showcased twice in the online publication, Poetry Present, by Cobourg’s Poet Laureate. Thomas was one of five poets featured in 2021 National Poetry Month’s Show and Tell Poetry Series Poster Project. Her poems have appeared in The River Magazine, The 2021 Festival of Light and Dark, and will be included in the Bill Bissett anthology, Poemdemic! Thomas makes her home by the Otonabee River with her cat.

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Gwynn Scheltema and Felicity Sidnell Reid

Gwynn Scheltema’s poetry has been published in anthologies, journals and magazines in Canada, Europe and South Africa, online and in print. She is one of five featured poets in One Ticket Five Rides. (Whirling Dervish Press). Gwynn writes from her peaceful home on the shores of Lake Seymour on the Trent Severn Waterway system in Ontario, Canada, but she was born and raised amid drought and dust and civil war in Southern Africa. These two contrasting landscapes vie for attention in her writing.  Ten of Diamonds was her COVID project, published in June this year.

Felicity Sidnell Reid is a poet who also writes short stories and nonfiction. Many of her poems have been published in anthologies, in print and online journals, magazines and blogs. Her novel, Alone: A Winter in the Woods was released by Hidden Brook Press in 2015 and published as an e-book in 2020. She is the co-editor with Kim Aubrey of Our Pandemic Times, A Journal in Times of Pandemic and Lockdown. (Blue Denim Press 2021.) She released The Yellow Magnolia and Other Poems in June 2021.

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