Notes on Poet Laureate Presentation

Thomas Cannon Oshkosh Poet Laureate

I was ready for the opportunity. I kept writing and submitting and getting published once in a while

uI used social media for marketing.

uI took the opportunities of open mics, helping with Lakefly, and doing programs at the library. (Jeffrey does the same).

uTruthfully-  Mayor Palmeri got inspired by Amanda Gorman’s speech- goal- to help heal the divide in our society. Put together a selection committee

uThe common council approved the proposal

uThe public library funds the stipend and hosts the email address.

uJeffrey-   North Fond du Lac Poet Laureate

1.North Fond du Lac Library Board starts research into the poet laureate position in June of 2022. Members talked with poet laureates from around the state of Wisconsin.  It is found that there are many ways to create a poet laureate position, can be named by a municipality, county by a public llibrary.  Can be a paid or unpaid position.

2.Volunteers put posters all around town and spread the word on social media. 

3.The library board put together an application for the position and decided it was a volunteer position lasting 2 years.  Board member Sheri Freiberg developed a scoring system for applicants.  Contenders  applied between 1/1 and 2/14 2023.  The board voted on the applications 2/27/23. 

4.Named North Fond du Lac Poet Laureate by the North Fond du Lac(Spillman) Public Library Board  3/1/2023

Maybe though this can lead you to the next slide about your motivation


uWhy do we write a poetry?



uWe want our message to exist in someone else’s mind and or our own mind.

uIf we want it to take up that space, it needs to be worthwhile

uIf it is not, then it will not.

uProbably because it is too generic

uThat’s an opportunity squandered


uBenefits of Writing Poetry

uThink better-  poems are puzzles to get the right word and the right rhythm

uTeaches you language – You have to know the meanings of words and what is the exact right word to use-


uBenefits of Poetry (Tom)

uPractice Mindfulness

uLearn How to Savor the Moment By Elizabeth Scott, MS

uFocus on the moment

uFocus on the details

uFocus on the sensations

uPerfect for poetry- Poetry is describing things in detail.   Take note of all the senses.

uRelive a moment as you write the poem, then relieve it as you tell it to someone.

uBenefits of Writing Poetry  (Tom)

uExplore your thoughts- including your subconscious ones

uExpress Gratitude- Often poems are about the special things in our lives

uWe explore them, put them in the forefront of our minds, and share them though poetry

uShare your feelings the way you choose- This makes some poetry into mystery 

uTell our side of a story-  Make ourselves the hero of it.

uEven if you are not just open a vein and bleed type writer.


uHow Does Revision find your voice?


uDoes our poetry journey begin with heartbreak? (Mind did)

uWe start with woe is me!  My heart is broke. Cliches ensue.

uEditing makes you step back and see your feelings and your message in a new light.

uEditing add your unique perspective. 

uShow your emotions in an image instead of saying generic words.

uYou use the techniques you are drawn to

uHow Does Revision find your voice?

uPoetry is healing.  It doesn’t matter if you write a good poem or not. However, the longer you spend healing, the better you will be. 

uYou and your poem grows together

uRevision is a process to become better acquainted with the poem.

uRevisit and re-invent our language, image, music,  rhythm, and rhyme -Sage Cohen

uA way to see new possibilities for the poem. –Margaret Atwood. A way to say something that has never been expressed

uAdd techniques to make it stronger.  Take out the things that make it weaker.

uMake it truer to what you want to say

Jeff’s Favorite Literary Devices

Enjambment- the continuation of a sentence or phrase from one line of poetry to the next.

Anaphora- the repetition of words or phrases in a group of sentences, clauses, or poetic lines.

Caesura- a break or pause in the middle of a line of verse. It can be marked as || in the middle of the line, although generally it is not marked at all – it’s simply part of the way the reader or singer pronounces the line.

Imagery- visually descriptive or figurative language

uA Poem from Tom


Why just write a poem when you can write a better one/ write in your true voice? 

uSay something someone else has never said.

uPeople don’t snag a diamond out of the cave wall.  They must be cut and polished. 

uCut and polish your poetry so others want to see it. So that it is unique.

uHappy poems- spend  extra time recreating that time.- relive it

uSad poems- uncover everything-  think of it as a cavity. Don’t leave the infection behind

uMake your pain into something beautiful

uSeparate your thoughts from yourself. By focusing on the words, you look Separate your thoughts from yourself. By focusing on the words, you look outward.  How can I help someone else with this?



uKeep in touch with Thomas Cannon


uTwitter: @Tcbcannon

uInstagram:  @Tcbcannon  and @Oshkosh_Poet

uFacebook: and



uKeep in touch with Jeffrey McAndrew


uTwitter: @numinous2019

uFacebook: North Fond du Lac Poet Laureate: