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)


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.