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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’s ninth Poet Laureate:

Titilope Sonuga

Titilope Sonuga

Titilope Sonuga is a poet, playwright and performer whose work grasps moments of tenderness and persistent joy at the intersection of blackness and womanhood. She is a leading voice in local and international poetry communities who has travelled extensively as an artist and facilitated adult and youth poetry workshops worldwide. She has served on various artistic and community boards in Edmonton and is the founder of the Breath In Poetry Collective, a mentorship and performance platform for emerging poets. Sonuga is the author of three collections of poetry, Down to Earth (Self Published, 2011), Abscess (Geko Publishing, 2014), and This Is How We Disappear (Write Bloody North, 2019) and has composed and released two spoken word albums; Mother Tongue (2011) and Swim (2019). She has written three plays, The Six; an intergenerational exploration of womanhood, Naked; a one-woman play and Ada The Country, a musical. Sonuga has scripted global advertising campaigns for numerous organizations, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Intel Corporation, The World Health Organization, White Ribbon Alliance and The MacArthur Foundation. Her writing has been translated into Italian, German and Slovak.

Titilope Sonuga will serve a two-year term as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023. Keep informed about Titilope’s work and events by following her on Twitter, Facebook, 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
 
Nisha Patel 2019-2021
Learn more about Nisha here.
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