Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Squeaky Wheel is Named Victoria Poet Laureate

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Yes, Wordy, I got the job. It was a secret for a while, and that is why I couldn't tell you. I love the opportunity to apread the word that poetry and music are sometimes energising and sometimes healing, and that is my mandate as Victoria Poet Laureate. Hopefully, in the next three years, I will be able to work with a very progressive city council on moving our small city where it aches to go. I want to bring as many as possible together to draw attention to the gifts we have been given and the deficits we have created.

My statement to the Mayor and Council follows:

Your Worship
Members of Council
Friends and Grandchildren

It is well known that Victoria is the poetry capitol of Canada. That is because the Garden City, with its rich Aboriginal, Asian, Middle Eastern, African and European heritage, is a very rich midden.

We now have ambitions to make our home the green capitol as well.

None of this has any meaning unless all of us are invited to the banquet. I hope to help make my tenure as Poet Laureate a time of inclusion.

If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of mankind, as Shelley wrote, then I would like to legislate that all Victorians are poets, and that we all become part of the process of bringing the meaning of goodness out of the deep structure of language into words that shape a truly golden city.

I would like to use poetry to encourage everyone, young, old, rich and poor to come together in celebration of our collective good luck in finding ourselves here, where the New World begins.

It will be my pleasure to serve the people and a Mayor and City Council with the heart and the will to make this happen.

Here are my promises:

I will mark our memorable occasions with poetry.

My “popal” project will link Victoria children with schools around the world, so that they can better understand one another through poetry.

I will compile an anthology of poetry and visual art that will declare that we are a cultural capitol.

I will work with street children in finding the words for an oratorio to be written by Composer Eric Dozier.

I will bring the past and the future together by introducing the poetry of our children to the poetry of our elderly.

I will initiate inter-disciplinary projects linking poetry, dance, music and visual art.

I will thank known and unknown citizens of Victoria for acts of mercy and generosity with poemcards that celebrate their kindnesses.

I will continue to bring poetry to fundraisers, notably events like Tip of Fools for Mental Health Services, Green Corridor farming and special needs training, and Canada Reads.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to work with the community to find the voices of our time.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page