As Calgary’s Poet Laureate I was honoured to read an excerpt from Robert Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue in Council Chambers on March 30, 2015. I also challenged members City Council to find and tweet images, phrases and fragments that they find poetic, using the hashtag #yycpoet.
My visual piece “Every word” alphabetically compiles all the keywords submitted by attendees of the Mayor’s Luncheon. I rubber-stamped, by hand, every word from “Aboriginal” to “Volunteer” gathering the very words that our arts community identified as best representing the arts in Calgary. These are your words, placed into a visual choir of artistic support, a suite of images that turn each letter into an artistic moment. This suite will be on display here at city hall for the week – please take a chance to see what your community has identified as the strengths and calgarian arts.
Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently proclaimed April as National Poetry Month, and Calgary is celebrating and recognizing poets, writers and libraries for their contributions to the identity and quality of life in our communities.
Earlier this year, Mayor Nenshi issued the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge, encouraging mayors across Canada to have a local poet read a poem at the start of a Council meeting in March or April. The aim is to raise awareness and to celebrate poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers to the rich cultural life in our country.
Thanks to the League of Canadian Poets, Dymphny Dronyk, the Poet Laureate sponsors and Calgary Arts Development for a great morning!