Surrey selects its first Poet Laureate

Renée Sarojini Saklikar will host writing consultations at local libraries.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar is Surrey's inaugural Poet Laureate.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar has been selected as the first-ever Poet Laureate for Surrey.

Saklikar is the author of Children of Air India, Un/authorized Exhibits and Interjections, which won the Canadian Authors Award for best book of Canadian poetry to be published in English. It was also a finalist for the B.C. Book prize Dorothy Livesay award.

In addition, Saklikar co-edited the anthology The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them, an anthology that includes poetry performed during Lunch Poems at SFU, a poetry reading series that Saklikar helped establish.

“A strong foundation of arts and culture is the hallmark of a thriving city,” said Mayor Linda Hepner.” As Surrey’s first Poet Laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar will creatively engage and connect with our community and will be a strong advocate for literacy and the literary arts.”

Saklikar is one of three National Advocates for The Writer’s Union of Canada and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Her poetry investigates, celebrates, and memorializes the poetry of place, particularly those stories integral to arrival, departure, settlement, and diaspora.

In her role as Poet Laureate, she will work to create a legacy program of poetry-outreach that is multilingual and inter-cultural, in partnership with organizations in Surrey. She is interested in furthering grass-roots connections with youth, senior, and community groups.

“We’re excited to welcome Renée as the Poet Laureate for Surrey,” said Meghan Savage, Information Services Librarian at Surrey Libraries and Poet Laureate Project Coordinator. “Renée demonstrates a strong passion and enthusiasm for connecting the people of Surrey through poetry.”

The City of Surrey, Surrey Libraries, Cultural Development Advisory Committee, Surrey Arts Services, Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Arts Council of Surrey, Creative Writing at Simon Fraser University, Semiahmoo Arts, Surrey Muse, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University helped establish the Poet Laureate project and select the new Poet Laureate, which is a two-year honourary position.

Saklikar will host writing consultations on the second Friday of each month. She is offering a free consultation on your poetry or prose. Writers are welcome to submit a maximum of 10 double-spaced pages. Registration is required at least one week prior to the consult date.

Saklikar will read the manuscript before each 45-minute meeting. At the meeting, she may provide suggestions about editing, how to publish your work and how to work with editors and publishers.

Consultations will take place at City Centre Library Nov. 13 and Dec. 11 and at Semiahmoo Arts Centre Jan. 8, Feb. 12 and March, 11, 2016.

To register for a consult, email poetlaureate@surrey.ca

For more information, visit www.surreylibraries.ca/poetlaureate

 

 

 

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