For Immediate Release
April 23, 2018
(Calgary AB) – Calgary Arts Development and the Calgary Poet Laureate Selection Committee are pleased to announce the appointment of Sheri-D Wilson as the 2018 – 2020 Calgary Poet Laureate. The position was formally announced in Council Chambers at Calgary City Hall this morning, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge.
“The Poet Laureate program is a wonderful way to reflect our city and its citizens through the power of words and language,” says Patti Pon, President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development. “We thank Micheline Maylor for her skill, her generous spirit, and her deep connections to the community during the last two years as Calgary’s Poet Laureate. It is a pleasure to welcome Sheri-D Wilson to the position for the next two years. Sheri-D is a formidable voice in our community and we look forward to seeing how she will bring her own depth of character, sense of curiosity, and gusto to the role.”
“As poets speak so they listen—poets listen through the ideas that arrive and arise from the earth and through community eyes. Calgary, Mohkínstsis, the place where two rivers meet—is an epicentre of poetry and spoken word,” says Sheri-D Wilson. “Poets live without boundaries—and poetry sings with the inclusive voice of all people. I am honoured to be the fourth Poet Laureate of my birthplace, Calgary, and I will do the best damn job that I can!”
Sheri-D Wilson is the award-winning author of 11 books, the creator of four short films, and has released three albums which combine music and poetry. She is known for her electric performance-style, making her a favorite with local and international audiences. She has read, performed and taught at festivals across Canada, USA, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, and South Africa.
In 2017, Wilson received her Doctor of Letters, honoris causa from Kwantlen University, after launching her new collection of poetry entitled, The Book of Sensations (U of C Press), and a full-length CD with poetry and music called Dragon Rouge.
As Calgary Poet Laureate, Wilson will serve as an artistic ambassador for the citizens of Calgary from 2018 to 2020. A $10,000 honorarium is paid per year for the position, funded by Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors including Calgary Foundation, Calgary Chamber, and Brookfield Residential.
Photos of Sheri-D Wilson and Mayor Naheed Nenshi 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 a group of Calgary Poet Laureate Ambassadors. 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.
About Calgary Arts Development
As the city’s designated arts development authority, Calgary Arts Development supports and strengthens the arts to benefit all Calgarians. We invest and allocate municipal funding for the arts provided by The City of Calgary and leverage these funds to provide additional resources to the arts sector. Our programs support hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, artist collectives, and ad hoc groups in Calgary.
Director, Communications and Engagement, Calgary Arts Development
Phone: (office) 403.264.5330 ext. 102; (mobile) 587.227.0150