Chaucer of Cheese celebrated in 20th annual poetry contest

His cheesy poetry is more than 100 years old, but the sharp stench of James McIntyre's words live on.

The Town of Ingersoll is celebrating the 20th year of competition for bad poetry with the competition named after one of its oldest residents who has become known as The Cheese Poet.

One of the "world's worst poets"

James McIntyre built and sold furniture and coffins in the late 1800s and into the twentieth century before he died. But he also penned more than 170 poems that are now known for their bad rhyming schemes and even worse rhymes.

Bryan Smith, one of the organizers for the James McIntyre Poetry Competition, and previous winner, jokes endlessly about the Chaucer of Cheese.

"I think his audiences at the time would have been amused and they certainly are now, which is perhaps why he ended up on a website called the world's worst poets," Smith told CBC's Afternoon Drive host Bob Steele.

McIntyre is known for writing about his surroundings, so his poems are riddled with stories about cheese, cows and any dairy topic he could come up with.

In addition to the 168 published poems, it's believed McIntyre wrote far more.

"He would appear at events and sit in the corner with a piece of paper and, at the end of the event, he'd stand up and he'd have some rhymes about what had been going on," Smith said.

"We suspect there's a whole lot of lost poems somewhere, perhaps fortunately."

The big winner of the competition takes home the Cheesiest Poem Award, but there are also other categories for the more serious bards. This year, there are categories to commemorate Canada 150th anniversary and the battle of Vimy Ridge.

The deadline for the 2017 competition is April 28.