Naomi Beth Wakan and Tina Biello (from left) were Nanaimo’s first two poets laureate. The City of Nanaimo is now looking for a third. (Bulletin file photos)

City of Nanaimo seeks applications for next poet laureate

Successful candidate will be city's 'literary ambassador' from 2021-23

Nanaimo has been without an adult poet laureate for the past year and the city is now seeking to fill that vacancy.

On March 4 the city announced in a press release that local poets have until April 30 at midnight to submit an application to become Nanaimo’s third poet laureate. They will succeed Naomi Beth Wakan, who held the position from 2013-16, and Tina Biello, whose tenure lasted from 2017 until early 2020.

“In preparing this call to poets, we consulted with members of the literary community who are enthusiastic about the special role of the poet laureate and its potential,” said Julie Bevan, the city’s culture and events manager, in the release. “We’re looking forward to receiving applications from Nanaimo poets and learning about the dreams and directions they have in mind for activating this role, and we look forward to collaborating to help them realize projects.”

The release notes the successful candidate will serve as a “literary ambassador” for the city until 2023 and will be responsible for “creating and presenting poetic works and engaging activities for the benefit of our community.”

“Nanaimo’s next poet laureate will have a track record of engagement with the literary community and will bring their own artistic objectives, experiences and networks to this dynamic civic role,” the release noted. “Over the course of their term, they will collaborate with city staff and with other community partners, producing and sharing work with diverse audiences.”

For more details on who is eligible and how to apply, click here.

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