Poet Laureate

At the 2022 Barrie Arts Awards, the Economic & Creative Development department crowned the City's fourth Poet Laureate, Tyneisha Thomas

The Poet Laureate is a prestigious designation that is selected by a jury and awarded to a candidate that has published works, presented their works at public events or forums, and has been acknowledged for their literary creations by the local community. The Poet Laureate, or “the people’s poet”, acts as a champion for poetry, language, and the arts by raising its profile through public engagements and civic interactions. The Poet Laureate acts as a literary ambassador and works to educate and promote poetry and the literary arts in our city and serves for a four-year term running concurrent to Council’s.  

Art on Transit is a public art initiative presenting unique digital artworks, inspired by an original poem entitled, unexpected destinations, written by Tyneisha Thomas. The artwork is installed on high-profile bus shelters and featured in all ten wards of the city. Read the poem & learn more about the project

About Tyneisha Thomas

Photo of Tyneisha Thomas, Barrie's Poet Laureate

Bearing Fruit, Tyneisha’s debut poetry collection, was released in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats in 2020, and is available on most distribution networks, including Indigo, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Friesenpress, and Barnes and Noble. As a self-published bestselling local author, Tyneisha, also known as Ty the Poetess, plans to use this position to create more works of poetry that are available to the public. Tyneisha intends to use her writing to highlight mental health and motherhood struggles while creating one-of-a-kind poetry concerts in Simcoe County that highlight the entire arts community, as well as literature.

Tyneisha has a vision of hosting events that showcase local poets, rappers, and dancers alongside local businesses, all coming together for the greater good of Barrie. As a Simcoe County Tourism Spark Grant winner, Ty has received mentorship through tourism innovation for this idea and will use the expertise provided to enhance her presentations. Her intention is to attend as many city events as possible and be a staple in Barrie whether it has to do with art or not. To become the Poet Laureate of Barrie is a prestigious position that Ty looks forward to holding with great honour. 

swaddle of emotions III by Tyneisha Thomas

i' m afraid to meet you  
but i' m dying to see your face  
longing to feel your touch  
eager to see how much you resemble me  
who knew feelings of fear and excitement could wrap themselves so tightly  
like a blanket