2021 Youth Poet Laureate
Congratulations to James Summer, Victoria's new Youth Poet Laureate! He is Victoria's ninth Youth Poet Laureate.
James Summer began writing poetry in his junior year of high school when he joined Vic High School’s slam poetry club. Over the years he participated and competed in Vic Voices, Hullabaloo and various open mics, becoming president of the club in his senior year.
As the next Youth Poet Laureate, he hopes to connect with other youth in Victoria and share his love of poetry. He finds that poetry is a medium that can express growth, pain and love through self-expression in a safe space, and wants to be able to help create that safe space for others.
“Poetry has helped me cope with feelings of loneliness and memories of a bittersweet childhood,” said James Summer. “As a transgender individual and as Youth Poet Laureate, I hope that I can bring awareness about the topic of being transgender and to have important conversations about stigma and labels.”
We look forward to all that this talented poet has to share with the community.
Role of Youth Poet Laureate
Over the one-year term, the Youth Poet Laureate will create three new works of poetry, present at bi-monthly City Council meetings, serve as a judge on the panel for the Greater Victoria Public Library Teen Writing Contest, host an event or project that will engage youth, and collaborate with the Greater Victoria Public Library on a poetry workshop for teens.
The Youth Poet Laureate is an honorary one-year term position from January 1 to December 31, 2021. The position receives a $1,750 honorarium and $2,000 of project funding in addition to the one-year mentorship with the Poet Laureate and administrative support from the City of Victoria.
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