Liquid Courage

Orillia Poetry Scene Thrives with Drunk Poets’ Society

By Zoe Dhillon, Orillia Bureau Chief

PC – Zoe Dhillon

The Drunk Poets’ Society is a monthly poetry event hosted by Lakehead alumnus, Tom Rose, at the Brownstone Cafe in downtown Orillia. This event, which is open to Lakehead students as well as the general public, provides a forum to share or listen to unpublished and published writing in a safe, inclusive, casual, and judgement-free environment.

Rose describes this event as “a place for readers and writers to get together and unabashedly share their love for the written word,” while “building each other up and supporting each other in incredible ways.”  

Rose established the Drunk Poets’ Society approximately three years ago with the help of friends Jaina Kelly and Greg McGrath-Goudie. Since its inception, the event has grown to be a staple in the Orillia poetry scene, bringing in many attendees and writers.

The Drunk Poets’ Society provides a great opportunity for Orillia student writers to gain experience in public speaking, to receive valuable feedback on written work, and to develop confidence. Rose acknowledges that the element of confidence development is crucial to the success and endurance of the Society, even noting that there have been several writers who have been inspired to publish their own poetry collections after successful and supported readings at the event.

While reading poetry publicly may be a frightening feat for some, the informal and boozy environment of the Drunk Poets’ Society provides a comfortable, inviting, and nonthreatening space for sharing.

The Drunk Poets’ Society also provides a useful forum for community engagement, as attendees have the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals in Orillia. So, grab a beer (or two) and join us next month!

The next Drunk Poets’ Society will occur in January, 2019. For more information, visit the Brownstone Cafe’s Facebook page or contact Tom Rose at