Poet Laureate

City of Victoria Poet Laureate 2023-2025

The City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria Public Library are pleased to announce Marie Metaphor Specht as Victoria’s new Poet Laureate.

Selected by a nomination and peer evaluation process, Specht will serve a two-year term in this honorary position that celebrates the contributions of literature and poetry in the capital city.

Specht is a spoken word poet and multidisciplinary artist whose work has been published in Oratorealis, Untethered Magazine, The Chestnut Review, The Hellebore and Room Magazine among others. She regularly performs at a wide variety of venues ranging from arts festivals to literary events and poetry slams. Marie has collaborated with musicians, filmmakers and lighting technicians to create complex and interactive works. Her first full-length book of poetry, Soft Shelters, will be published with Write Bloody North in fall 2023.

“Poetry is a way of reaching towards each other; of closing the spaces between us,” said Specht. “I believe that creativity is our shared human birthright and any artform with an audience is a means to foster connections between people; an opportunity to see and hold each other in our complex histories of joy and suffering. This work is how we imagine a way forward; how we birth new worlds. Our communities flourish through intrepid acts of beauty, through the incredible power of stories shared.”

The Poet Laureate will produce new work and organize a community poetry event each year. Along with sharing their own literary talents with the community, they will also find ways to collaborate with and celebrate other local poets.  www.mariemetaphor.com

Readings and Events

Specht’s first reading will be at the City Council meeting on April 27, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend the event at Victoria City Hall.

The Poet Laureate position was established by City Council in December 2006 to honour, celebrate and reflect the life of the city through poetry. The inaugural poet laureate Carla Funk, and subsequent poet laureates Linda Rogers, Janet Marie Rogers, Yvonne Blomer, and John Barton have each brought their unique voice to the creative expression of Victoria’s identity. The Poet Laureate provides a way for the broader community to engage in literary arts as well as established and emerging poets and writers to engage are encouraged to share their artistic voice.

For More Information about this program, or to contact the Poet Laureate email: culture@victoria.ca   

Requests for readings or presentations at community events by the Youth Poet Laureate should be accompanied by an honorarium.