Poet Laureate Call for Nominations

2019 - 2022 Call for Nominations

The Call for Nominations for the City's Poet Laureate took place in fall 2018. Candidates could be nominated or self-nominated. John Barton is Victoria's new Poet Laureate. Learn more.

Victoria’s Poet Laureate, known as the “people’s poet,” is an honorary position that was established by City Council in December 2006 to honour, celebrate and reflect the life of the city through literature and poetry. Victoria’s Poet Laureate serves as a champion for poetry, language and the arts, and creates a unique artistic legacy through a variety of public poetry events and civic functions. The Poet Laureate also serves as a mentor for the annual Youth Poet Laureate.

Candidates for the Poet Laureate position must be poets who currently reside in the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands, who have an established body of work (written or spoken word), and have been recognized for notable contributions in their career. View the poster [PDF - 3 MB].

Eligibility Criteria

Nominees for the City of Victoria Poet Laureate position must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Reside in the Capital Region (including Gulf Islands)
  • Be a print poet or spoken word poet who is active in his or her field
  • Have an established body of work that demonstrates poetic richness and flexibility (i.e. be more than one style)
  • Have made contributions to the literary community and be recognized as a professional in the field by his or her peers
  • Print poets must provide a minimum of two published works that display literary excellence. These publications can be either hard copy (properly bound, high quality graphic design, etc.) or digital (properly formatted, edited, professional layout, etc.). They may be self-published but must adhere to professional standards of quality.
  • Spoken word poets must have clearly demonstrated excellence in poetry and the literary arts through competitions, awards and public events

The application process was available online through the Greater Victoria Public Library. The Nomination Package contains information about the Poet Laureate's responsibilities, remuneration, selection criteria, as well as instructions for applicaton submissions.

Submission Deadline
The deadline for submissions was Monday, November 5, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

Poet Laureate submissions were administered by the Greater Victoria Public Library. Applications were evaluated by a peer committee comprised of representatives of the literary and poetry community. Finalists were invited for an interview in late November.

Term and Remuneration
The Poet Laureate is an honorary four-year term position from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. The position will receive an honorarium of $4,500 per year as well as $1,000 for poetry month events.

Victoria’s new Poet Laureate was appointed at a City Council meeting in January 2019.

For More Information