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Vancouver seeking First Nation poet laureate

by pmnationtalk on December 6, 2017105 Views

Nominations are open for a published or performance poet from Vancouver’s Host Nations

Unceded homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations

Vancouver is looking for its next poet laureate, and nominations for this term are open to published or performance poets from the Musqueam, Squamish or Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

The poet laureate – ‘the people’s poet’ – is an honorary position with a flexible term of two to three years.

In line with the City of Vancouver’s role as a City of Reconciliation, this term will be focused on a mandate to raise Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh poetry’s visibility through the creation of a unique literary project and by representing the city as laureate during readings at civic functions, public poetry events and at an inaugural event at VPL’s poet’s corner at the central library.

Each laureate is free to pursue individual agendas in addition to the civic duties.

Deadline for submissions is Dec. 15.

Eligible published or performance poets are from the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and who have been recognized for notable contributions to poetry and have received peer recognition for excellence.

Poets may nominate themselves or can be nominated by someone from the community. Community nominations must have been discussed with and approved by the poet prior to nomination.

Background information and nomination details are at

Vancouver’s poet laureate is a collaboration of the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Writers Fest, and is funded through a generous endowment from Yosef Wosk.

Previous poets laureate were:

  • George McWhirter (2007-2009), who edited the anthology A Verse Map of Vancouver;
  • Brad Cran (2009-2011), who organized the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference;
  • Evelyn Lau (2011-2014), who held manuscript consultations with emerging poets and promoted poetry in public spaces;
  • Rachel Rose (2014-2017), who edited the anthology Sustenance: Writers from B.C. and Beyond on the Subject of Food.

The poet laureate role was established by the City of Vancouver in December 2006 to honour and celebrate the contribution of literature and poetry to life in Vancouver.


About Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library has been dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading and information needs of Vancouver residents for more than 100 years. Our vision is an informed, engaged, and connected city. Our mission is a free place for everyone to discover, create and share ideas and information. Last year, VPL had nearly 6.5 million visits, with patrons borrowing nearly 9.5 million physical and digital items including books, ebooks, movies, music and magazines. Across 21 locations, VPL is the most-visited major urban library per capita in Canada.


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