The Poet Laureate, “the people’s poet,” is an honorary position with a two to three-year term. Serving as a champion for poetry, language and the arts, the Laureate creates a unique literary project and represents the City as Laureate during readings and public poetry events. Funded through a generous endowment by Dr. Yosef Wosk, OBC, the position was established in 2006 by the City of Vancouver in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library and The Vancouver Writers’ Festival.
Fiona Tinwei Lam’s Legacy Project has involved community outreach to encourage the generation of new poems and poetry videos to foster greater understanding about significant historical, cultural and ecological sites on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples now known as the City of Vancouver. The first stage of the project was the City Poems Contest, a poetry contest for youth and adults January-June 2022. The second stage of the project is the City Poems Poetry Video Contest based on the award-winning poems and other curated site-based poems, which launched in January 2023. The award ceremony on June 11 at the Museum of Vancouver will include a screening of the award-winning poetry videos made by post-secondary student teams.
Schools in the Vancouver school district may book a one-hour workshop with the Vancouver Poet Laureate through the Poet in Class program with Poetry in Voice, or through contacting Fiona directly. Information about the Poet Laureate position is also available through the Vancouver Public Library and the City of Vancouver (Cultural Services).