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Edmonton's Poet Laureate 

Role of the Poet Laureate

Historically, a Poet Laureate served as the official chronicler of state events and occasions. More currently, the role of a Poet Laureate is to reflect the life of a city through readings of poetry. As an ambassador for the literary arts, the Laureate incorporates poetry into a range of official and informal city activities.

Edmonton's Poet Laureate program is supported jointly by the Edmonton Arts Council, the City of Edmonton, and the Edmonton Public Library. The creation of this position confirms the city's support for the arts in general, and for the literary arts in particular.

Edmonton Poet Laureate: Call for Expressions of Interest

The Edmonton Arts Council, City of Edmonton, and Edmonton Public Library are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for Edmonton's ninth Poet Laureate. As an ambassador for the literary arts, the Laureate incorporates poetry into a range of official and informal city activities. The Poet Laureate will serve a two-year term from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023.

This is a part-time, flexible role with an annual honorarium of $10,000. 

Edmonton writers and poets are invited to apply for the role. The deadline for applications is 12:00 pm MST on Monday, May 3, 2021.  

Click here to download the Call

Download PDF

Edmonton’s eighth Poet Laureate:

Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel is an award-winning Indo-Canadian poet & artist. She is the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion and Edmonton Slam Champion, and a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. She is also the Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

Nisha has performed across Canada and the world, sharing her work on multiple tours and international features from Glasgow and Berlin to Seoul. She is also published in two chapbooks, Water and Limited Success. Her poetry speaks to themes of race, feminism, and identity, focusing strongly on her struggles and triumphs as a woman of colour. She strives to build strong relationships, mentorship, and opportunities for artists around her, believing in the possibility and forgiveness of the Edmonton arts scene. She is the former artist in residence at both The Sewing Machine Factory as well as The Nook Cafe. 

Nisha is an alumnus of the University of Alberta School of Business with a degree in Business Economics in Law, a minor in Political Science, and a Certificate in Leadership. Nisha works to further her goal of building a stronger artistic community through living in her truth.

Nisha Patel will serve a two-year term as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021. Keep informed about Nisha’s work and events by following @AnotherNisha on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram, and visiting her website


Past Poets Laureate

Alice Major 2005 – 2007
Learn more about Alice here.

Ted Blodgett 2007 – 2009
Learn more about Ted here and here.

Roland Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon) 2009 – 2011
Learn more about Roland here, watch his first official reading to City Council here.

Anna Marie Sewell 2011 – 2013
Learn more about Anna Marie here, you can see her PoemCatcher project here.

Mary Pinkoski 2013-2015
Learn more about Mary here, watch her Canoe Theatre Festival poem here.

Pierrette Requier 2015-2017
Learn more about Pierrette here.

Ahmed "Knowmadic" Ali 2017-2019
Learn more about Ahmed here
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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620