The Peoples’ Poet Plans Plenty

The newly named Poet Laureate of the Comox Valley has plenty of plans already.

And she’s open to hearing ideas from others in the community as to how she can best promote the art of poetry, cultivate poetic literacy and encourage the reading and writing of poems.

Natalie Nickerson was chosen Laureate last Friday following a search organized by Comox Valley Arts, the regional arts council.

Following her win, she shared her tentative plans for bringing poetry to the people:

  • ‘House Concert Poetry’, providing an “audible odyssey of readings with various hosts,”
  • Poetry in the Park – sharing and promoting “lunch poetry” with a picnic,
  • Elder College poetry workshop to “explore the landscape of our youth, our early beginnings and the beauty that sourced our lives,”
  • Poetic Assembly – a multi-media presentation to inspire young authors, accompanied by lessons plans for teachers of elementary grades to follow up with writing exercises,
  • Poem in your Pocket – William S. Burroughs-inspired workshop where participants create three-line poems on blank business cards, using newspaper clippings,
  • Bon Anniversaire – celebration of famous poet’s birthdays e.g. Burns, Browning and Poe. “Come dressed as your favourite character,”
  • Regular contributions to Valley newspapers/magazines with poems and essays on “the importance of poetry in this polarized time, the art and science of poetry (quantum alphabet soup), why everyone is a poet, how poetry can help you become more of a risk-taker and why that is important, and much more,” and
  • Poetic presence at various community events

“My ideas are endless,” says Nickerson. “But I’m also open to suggestions from the community. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] with ideas of your own or to schedule an event.”