Cobourg prepares for a new poet laureate

By Cecilia Nasmith

Ted Amsden is nearing the end of his time as Cobourg's poet laureate and council this week approved the establishment of a poet laureate ad-hoc committee to find his replacement.

Cobourg has had a poet laureate since Eric Winter was appointed in 1997, according to the report before council at Monday's committee-of-the-whole session. The position was later changed to run concurrent with council terms, and – as he's nearing the end of his second term with council – Amsden is due for a replacement.

The committee will consist of the mayor, deputy mayor and one councillor along with the Cobourg Public Library chief executive officer, director of the Art Gallery of Northumberland and one member at large. Municipal clerk Brent Larmer explained that the collective expertise of this group should ensure a worthy candidate will be selected.

Deputy Mayor John Henderson praised Amsden's work in the role.

“It is my understanding that Ted has agreed to do the Mayor's Levee on Jan 1, 2019,” Henderson noted.

“But after that point, his tenure will really start to come to an end. We are really hoping to have a new poet laureate in place as we move forward on our other major town events.”

“I really enjoyed Ted's leadership, his heart, his creativity – his irreverence at times,” Councillor Debra McCarthy added.

“And at other times, there could be compassion. Classic Ted!”