Comox Valley Arts  has begun the search for the third Laureate, a successor to Natalie Nickerson, who can engage and inspire the community for the next two years.

“All forms of poetic expression, from song-writing and rap/hip-hop to classic page poetry and spoken-word are equally valued in this search,” says CV Arts board member Wendy Nixon-Strothert. “We strongly encourage anyone with a penchant for prose to come forward.”

The winner will not only be draped in fame and respect, but will be awarded a $2000 honorarium to carry out Poet Laureate duties over the term.

“Anyone who thinks of themselves as a lover and advocate of poetry should apply,” says Nickerson. “I feel that’s more important than considering yourself an accomplished poet.”

North Island College, Sure Copy, The Eagle, The City of Courtenay and Vancouver Island Regional Library have stepped up as sponsors so far.  

“Businesses or groups can still attach their brand to this highly visible project,” says Jamie Bowman, the past Comox Valley Arts president who got the Poet Laureate project going four years ago. “This is a great way to be seen supporting our community.”

The winner will be expected to create works during the year, appear at significant community events (i.e. Empire Day, Miners Memorial, Canada Day, etc.), work to stimulate and encourage poetic and cultural writing (such as a youth poetry challenge), and serve as a lightning rod for the mood of the community.

The diverse judging panel includes Nickerson, NIC English instructor Anne Cumming, rapper Eric Ettinger of Butterfinger Bombsquad, and COZY, aka Josie Patterson, a 21-year-old whose song-writing and performance career has recently taken off.

Writing is a social catalyst, and a poet laureate can be seen as “a community alchemist, divining the moments to lament and celebrate, using his or her words to glue people together in times of joy and sorrow,” says Linda Rogers, past Victoria Poet Laureate and a past judge of the Valley edition.

Writers can either apply themselves or be nominated by someone who knows the value of their work and potential for the community.  Full entry and nomination details are at www.comoxvalleyarts.com.  

 

Deadline for entries is April 1/19.

We might not cast you in bronze in a park, but you'll have lots of fun!

The Poet Laureate Project is supported by: