Appointment of a new Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Parliament of Canada
December 20, 2011 (Ottawa) – The Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, today announced the appointment of Fred Wah as Canada’s next Parliamentary Poet Laureate [2011-2013], effective immediately. Mr. Wah is the fifth poet to hold this office.
“As a distinguished poet, editor, and teacher Fred Wah is known across Canada for his interest in a range of subjects,” said Speaker 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.”
“Fred Wah’s poetry is grounded in Canada’s political and social landscapes,” said Speaker Scheer. “He has done much to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language within Canadian society.”
Mr. Wah was selected by the Speakers upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee composed of Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages; Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, and Sonia L’Heureux, Assistant Parliamentary Librarian.
Reflecting on his nomination, Fred Wah intends to share his enthusiasm for new poets and artists, and will bring to the position the passion and dedication he brings to all his work. “My work as Parliamentary Poet Laureate will continue to engage poetry as it represents our homes and migrations, our questions of history and identity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sustain poetry’s presence in our national imaginary.”
Mr. Wah has been writing and publishing since 1965. Author of five limited-edition chapbooks and 18 books, his repertoire includes the 1986 Governor General Award-wining poetry book Waiting for Saskatchewan. Fred Wah has consistently challenged and thrilled readers and has had a major influence on multiple generations of writers…
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