The Poet Laureate, “the people’s poet,” is an honorary position with a two-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.
What's happening2022-2024 Poet Laureate
Fiona Tinwei Lam
Fiona Tinwei Lam has authored three poetry collections and a children's book, and produced several award-winning poetry videos that have screened at festivals all over the world. Besides editing the anthology, The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems on Facing Cancer, she has co-edited two nonfiction anthologies.
Shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award and thrice selected for BC’s Poetry in Transit, her work appears in over 40 anthologies, including the Best Canadian Poetry series. A former lawyer, she has an MFA in creative writing from UBC. She currently teaches at SFU's Continuing Studies.
Poet Laureate project
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 xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (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 April-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 at email@example.com.
More information about the Fiona’s Legacy Project is also available through the Vancouver Public Library.