Historically, a Poet Laureate served as the official chronicler of state events and occasions. In ancient times, the Laureate was the central means for recording and communicating history. "Laureate" comes from the Latin word ‘laureatus', meaning adorned with a crown of laurel, an honour also bestowed on the earliest Olympic athletes.
Edmonton's Poet Laureate program is supported jointly by The City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Public Library and the Edmonton Arts Council. The creation of this position confirms the city's support for the arts in general, and for the literary arts in particular.
More currently, the role of a Poet Laureate is to reflect the life of a city through readings of poetry. As an ambassador for the literary arts, the Laureate incorporates poetry into a range of official and informal city activities.
Download the Call for Nominations
Bilingual poet, performer, producer, mentor and emerging playwright, Pierrette Requier was raised in the Peace River region of northern Alberta. She attended the University of Alberta and at St. Stephen's College in Edmonton. Requier taught in bilingual programs in northern Alberta and French Immersion in Edmonton as well as participated in an exchange to Queensland, Australia. She returned to literary studies and committed to a writing practice, subsequently achieving publication in poetry.
Perhaps stemming from her teaching background, Requier seeks to engage and mentor. She has served as a poet mentor for the Writer’s Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program and as Grant MacEwan University’s twentieth writer-in-residence where she encouraged students to grow as writers. Requier's monthly Wind Eye Writing Seminars, that she has designed and hosted for the last fifteen years, incorporates various forms of writing and spoken word and creates a space for writers, of all levels to gather. She takes seriously the charge of giving back her own experience and energy to the writers she meets.
Requier has sat on boards, liaising between the Anglophone and Francophone literary communities, to promote Francophone arts across Edmonton. Over the past four years, she has brought together Francophone poets in her French Twist events during the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Requier has collaborated and performed across Alberta, Winnipeg, and Montreal. It has been said her work is truly une plume du Nord, du Far-Ouest, une langue de chez-nous/vous (her writing is penned in the language of the western/prairie soil). She has recently completed a play/tone poem Les Blues des oubliées to be produced by Brian Dooley and premiered, with English surtitles, at l’Unithéâtre in October 2015.
Edmonton's Poet Laureate is expected to:
- at least once a year to City Council
- at least once a year at a City-sponsored fund-raising or charity event, and
- at a minimum of two official City of Edmonton functions each year such as the City of
Edmonton anniversary of incorporation, the City’s official summer exhibition or the
Mayor’s state of the City address
In addition, the Edmonton Poet Laureate will be allowed/encouraged to present or perform works of other poets, if content and/or subject is relevant to the event and the citizens of Edmonton.
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