Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate

Selected by nomination, Victoria's Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate serve as literary and cultural ambassadors.

John Barton - Victoria's Poet Laureate (2019 - 2022)

John Barton is an established poet and editor. He has written and published 26 books, chapbooks and anologies. He is a three-time recipient of the Archibald Lampman Award, and has won an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award. John is currently working on his first book of prose, We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos while working as a freelance editor, writer and mentor. John was formally appointed to the position of the City's Poet Laureate on January 10, 2019 by Council, and will serve a four-year term. He is the City's fifth Poet Laureate.  Learn more.  (Photo credit John Preston)


Youth Poet Laureate Call for Nominations

The City of Victoria, in partnership with the Greater Victoria Public Library, is seeking nominations for next year’s Youth Poet Laureate.

Created in 2013 by the Victoria Youth Council, the Youth Poet Laureate position provides the community access to strong youth voices. The Youth Poet Laureate will reach out to vulnerable youth populations, develop a community youth poetry event and encourage peer-to-peer education through new works.

Applicants must be 14 to 24 years of age and reside in the Capital Region. To apply, applicants must fill out an application form and include three original poems in written format (Word/PDF). Applicants are encouraged to provide links in the application to any audio or video recordings of themselves reading the poems they are submitting for consideration.

Download the Youth Poet Laureate Nomination Package here


Applications are accepted until Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 4 p.m. Please email your application to culture@victoria.ca  

Information Session:

An information session took place on Tuesday, October 20 at 6 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Connor Tice at ctice@victoria.ca or 250.418.0564. 

Neko Smart - Victoria's 2020 Youth Poet Laureate

Neko Smart is a graduate of Victoria High School, and the founder and co-coach of the Victoria High Slam Poetry Team. She was formally appointed to her one-year term as Youth Poet Laureate on January 9, 2020 by Council. Neko is Victoria's eighth Youth Poet Laureate. Learn more.