Poet's Hill in Beechwood Cemetery
by
EB Lapointe

On a cold, windy, and snowy night, a warm poetry reading—accompanied by Celtic music—greeted those who attended a fundraising for Poet's Hill at the Reception Centre at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa on Thursday night, November 17, 2005.

The celebration was in aid of Ottawa's heritage, which will be showcased in the cemetery's "Poet's Hill', a site near the entrance to Beechwood Cemetery. Leading to the hill will be a "Poet's Pathway", winding through Ottawa with significant literary stops along the way, which will serve as the gateway destination and a point of departure for "Poet's Hill."  The hill will also be developed as a natural site for literary reflection, education, and public reading.

Over 40 of Ottawa's finest writers of the 19th and 20th century are interred in the landscaped grounds of Beechwood Cemetery. "Confederation Poets", such as Archibald Lampman, Duncan Campbell Scott, and W.W. Campbell, are buried there.

According to Mike Heenan, a member of the Ottawa Heritage Society, plans have been in the works since 2002 for the Poet's Pathway and Poet's Hill. It is estimated that $50,000 is needed for their completion.

In November, Stephen Artelle, Director of the Ottawa Literary Heritage Society, sent out an e-mail asking Canadians across the country to send in their nomination ifor Canada's Greatest Poets. Eleven names will be included in the inaugural list - one poet to represent each province, and one to represent the North.  Send your choice for poets, past or present, to  <ottawaliterary@yahoo.ca> together with a statement (maximum 500 words) explaining your choice.
   
Nominations should be submitted by December 31, 2005.  Your feedback will determine the inaugural list of names to be inscribed at Poet's Hill, the commemorative site at Ottawa's historic Beechwood Cemetery.

If you are interested in this project, please check back in 2006 to see the latest in news and events.

"Poet's Hill" is sponsored by the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation, the Ottawa Literary Heritage Society, and the Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital.

07 December, 2005



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