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New Year

by Jason Heroux

New Year, don’t be startled by our fireworks,
our shouts. The last thing in the world we want
is to frighten you. It’s your first day on the job.
Welcome to Kingston. You have a stack of souls

who must be born this year, and another stack
will perish. The largest pile on your desk consists
of those carrying on as usual. New Year,
why are you trembling? Come closer, I promise

we won’t hurt you. I know our darkened woods
these days have more dark than woods but still
our grass sleeps in its green hut and still
our little swan of hope floats across its pond.

About this Poem

Cover of Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines by Jason Heroux

Jason Heroux read his new poem “New Year” at the January 1, 2020 Mayor’s Levee.  For each year of their appointment the Poet Laureate for the City of Kingston writes one new original poem that addresses or reflects one or more aspects of life in the City.  They read this poem at the Mayor’s annual Levee on New Year’s Day.  At last year’s Levee Jason read his poem “I Woke Up In My City”.

Jason’s most recent collection of poetry at KFPL is his 2016 Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines. You can find more of his poetry and his fiction in the KFPL catalogue.

About the Poetry Blackboard

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston. Started in 2015 by Helen Humphreys, the Poetry Blackboard will be continued as of 2019 by Jason Heroux.

News About the Poetry Blackboard

We wish to thank Helen Humphreys, Kingston's second Poet Laureate, for her generous support of emerging and established poets in Kingston through library programming and our Poetry Blackboard project. Throughout her four years as Poet Laureate, Helen curated a digital collection of poetry to showcase the talents of local creators of all ages, both historic and contemporary. Helen also offered several opportunities for emerging poets to develop their craft, offering group workshops and one-on-one mentorship. Her active engagement with the library and community has been greatly appreciated.

We welcome our incoming Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, and look forward to working together to continue the Poetry Blackboard and develop new community programming.

Previously Published Poems