Meet Victoria's 2018 Youth Poet Laureate - Agartu Ali

At last night’s Council meeting, Agartu Ali was introduced as Victoria’s 2018 Youth Poet Laureate. Serving as a champion for youth and the literary arts, Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate seeks to inspire and engage local youth to share their stories through both the written and spoken word. 

Agartu Ali is a 15-year-old spoken word poet who is a Grade 10 student at Victoria High School. For as long as she can remember, poetry has moved her emotionally and motivated her to be an advocate for change in her community. Ali volunteers at numerous local elementary schools and community organizations and often uses poetry as a vehicle to connect with her community.

While she is not yet a well-known face in the larger poetry scene, Ali believes this anonymity gives her an approachability that she plans to utilize in this position. She hopes youth will see themselves in her and that she can learn alongside them.

“My vision is to bring the many different cultures and people of Victoria together,” said Ali. “With my roots in the refugee and immigrant sector, and my love of the written and spoken word, I believe I harbour the dedication and resources needed to make this vision a reality. I hope to provide an outlet for youth to express themselves by writing what is beautiful, what is painful and what is real.”

Mentored by Victoria’s Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer, the Youth Poet Laureate creates and presents new works to Victoria City Council and Youth Council, conducts poetry readings at City and Greater Victoria Public Library events, and organizes a community youth poetry event.

Learn more and watch Agartu Ali's inaugural poetry reading to City Council.