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Canada Gets Their Poet Laureate

By Harriet Staff

We recently reported that Canada needed a Poet Laureate. Well, they got one! According to this article from the Winnipeg Free Press, Fred Wah will hold the position.

Saskatchewan-born writer Fred Wah has been appointed as the new parliamentary poet laureate.

Wah is the fifth poet to hold the office.

He replaces Pierre DesRuisseaux, whose two-year term expired earlier this year.

The post was created in 2001, with a mandate to write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions, to sponsor poetry readings and advise the parliamentary library.

The poet is appointed by the Speaker of the Commons and Senate on the recommendation of a selection committee which included, among others, the commissioner of official languages and the head of the Canada Council.

Wah is a well-known poet who won a Governor General’s Award in 1986 and is on the faculty of the Banff Centre for the Arts.

“As a distinguished poet, editor, and teacher Fred Wah is known across Canada for his interest in a range of subjects,” said Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella. “Mr. Wah brings forth a collaborative approach and unique perspective to his work inspiring younger poets, students and others both nationally and internationally with his reflections on Canadian culture.”

See, too, this post from the Parliament of Canada’s website.


Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 by Harriet Staff.