Welcome to the Niagara Falls Poetry Project.
This site is dedicated to the poetry of Niagara Falls – the waterfalls, river, city, people, and history. A section of the site is also being developed to showcase Niagara poets.
This is not a “best of” site or a “critical interpretation” site. Niagara Falls has a long, unique history – from the site of the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812 to being named an International Peace Site, from a quiet, natural area to a zoo of tourist attractions, from a lover’s haven to a site of horrific death. All of these aspects and more are reflected in the poetry of Niagara, be it good, bad, or indifferent. This site aims to explore the history, culture, and social aspects of the two Cities of Niagara Falls and the natural wonder of the Falls themselves. The poems contained on the site are reflections of different eras and sensibilities, and as such there may be derogatory, racist, sexist, and other offensive language, terminology, and attitudes, Some of the poets whose works are included may also have been responsible for hateful acts. While the poems may not reflect current understanding, they are provided in an historical context. Inclusion on this site does not imply endorsement by the site administration. This site will be constantly changing as more poems are tracked down and transcribed.
The very first poem that contains a reference to Niagara Falls is Untitled by Le Sievr de la Franchise, published in 1604.
This site is being compiled by Andrew Porteus, who retired in Spring 2016 from his position as Manager of Adult Reference & Information Services at the Niagara Falls Public Library, in Ontario, and has served as a member, and chair, of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library Board and the Fort Erie Public Library Board. Porteus was 2019 Chair of the Ontario Library Boards Association and a member of the Council of the Ontario Library Association. In addition, Porteus received a Master of Arts degree in Popular Culture at Brock University examining the poetry of Niagara Falls. As part of the degree requirements, Porteus developed a Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls. Tour information can be found here. The research paper, The Development of the Poetry Walking Tour of Niagara Falls Using Mobile App Technology which includes a lot of background information about the poetry of Niagara Falls, can be found on Brock University Library’s digital collections site by clicking the link.
Submissions of original poems about Niagara Falls are welcome and can be sent via the Contact page. If you are a Niagara Falls poet please use the Contact page and indicate that you live in Niagara Falls.
A Note on Copyright: An author’s work is generally copyrighted for the creator’s lifetime plus 50 years, when it then moves in to the public domain. Some creators use a Creative Commons licence to allow use without needing specific copyright permission. Many of the poems and images on this website are in the public domain or published under a Creative Commons licence. For poems and images still under copyright, permission has been obtained to use them on the site and associated social media. Where permission hasn’t been obtained, a bibliographic entry and annotation have been included. Please use the Contact page to discuss any copyright issues.