April 25, 2016
Local poet will serve as an artistic ambassador for Calgary from 2016 – 2018
(Calgary AB) – Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Poet Laureate Selection Committee are pleased to announce the appointment of Micheline Maylor as the 2016 – 2018 Calgary Poet Laureate. The position was formally announced in Council Chambers at Calgary City Hall this morning, in conjunction with an update about National Poetry Month and the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge. Outgoing laureate derek beaulieu was also in attendance to wrap up his two-year term as Calgary’s Poet Laureate from 2014 – 2016.
Micheline Maylor’s newest collection, Little Wildheart, was recently short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch award for experimental poetry and deals with the question: What does it mean to be human? It is due for release in spring 2017. A certified poetry fanatic, she teaches creative writing, poetry, fiction, non-fiction and composition at Mount Royal University where she won the Teaching Excellence Award in 2015. Her poetry has been published in over 85 journals in five countries. Her latest works can be found in Partisan, The Literary Review of Canada, and she is a regular poetry reviewer at Quill and Quire.
As Calgary Poet Laureate, Maylor will serve as an artistic ambassador for the citizens of Calgary from 2016 – 2018. A $10,000 honorarium is paid per year for the position, funded by Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors including The Calgary Foundation, the Calgary Chamber and First Calgary Financial.
“Calgary’s poetry community is one of the most dynamic and inspiring in the world,” says Micheline Maylor. “We are a place where diverse voices collaborate to create inspirational ideas. We are a place where our political and cultural leaders are fully engaged in supporting and manifesting a diverse, vibrant, and engaged community of artists. I am honoured to be selected as Calgary’s first female Poet Laureate.”
“The Calgary Poet Laureate has become an established position, enthusiastically received by our community,” says Patti Pon, President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “On behalf of Calgary Arts Development and the citizens of Calgary, I extend a hearty thank you to derek beaulieu for his service to our city during his time as Calgary Poet Laureate, and welcome Micheline Maylor to take on the role for the next two years. I look forward to experiencing Micheline’s artistry and her influence on our city.”
A celebration to thank derek and welcome Micheline will be held from 7:30 to 9:00pm on May 11 at Wine-Ohs (811 1st St. SW). The event will feature presentations from both outgoing Poet Laureate derek beaulieu as well as Micheline Maylor, in a convivial atmosphere filled with good company and conversation. Tickets are free and can be reserved at startingwordspartingwords.eventbrite.ca.
Photos of Mr. beaulieu and Ms. Maylor are available here. *Please note photo credits*
About the Calgary Poet Laureate
On July 26, 2011, City Council approved a motion to establish a Calgary Poet Laureate position, funded by six Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors (The Calgary Foundation, the Calgary Chamber, First Calgary Financial, FirstEnergy Capital, TransCanada and one anonymous donor). Calgary Arts Development administers the program in conjunction with a volunteer Selection Committee, which appoints each Calgary Poet Laureate for a two-year term. The Calgary Poet Laureate is intended to be an artistic ambassador for Calgary, presenting at civic events and producing literary work that reflects our city and its citizens.
About the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge
To celebrate National Poetry Month and UNESCO World Poetry Day, each year municipalities across Canada are challenged to bring poetry into politics. One mayor leads this annual challenge by inviting a poet to read at a council meeting in March or April, and challenges mayors and councils across Canada to follow suit and join the celebration. Initiated by Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco in 2012, the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge celebrates poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers to the rich cultural life in our country. Last year the torch was passed from Regina to Calgary, and Mayor Nenshi’s first challenge was a huge success.
This year 54 cities had accepted the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge: to have a local poet read a poem at the start of a Council meeting in March or April at the time of writing. In addition, 21 declared April 21 World Poetry Day, and 31 have declared April as National Poetry Month in their city. This year’s challenge is a collaboration between the League of Canadian Poets, The City of Calgary, and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.
About Calgary Arts Development
Calgary Arts Development plays a leadership role to promote, foster and direct investments that develop the capacity of Calgary’s arts sector to achieve public and artistic impact. As the city’s designated arts development authority, we are a central hub that learns about, promotes, connects, advocates for, and leads strategic initiatives in the arts to animate Calgary as a vibrant cultural centre. Calgary Arts Development allocates municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary through grant investment programs that support operations and innovation for more than 150 arts organizations in Calgary.
Director, Communications and Engagement, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: 403.264.5330 ext. 102