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delivering more than inspiration

The Poet Laureate of Edmonton

Reflecting our city

For centuries, in cities across the world, poets laureate have been chosen to share and reflect everyday life and grand moments alike – both elevating and celebrating culture through the literary arts. 

Today, Edmonton’s Poet Laureate composes and reads poetry as part of special ceremonies and occasions, reflecting Edmonton’s cultural landscape back to their audience, Edmontonians. 

By incorporating poetry into a range of activities throughout the year – sparking inspiration and conversation – Edmonton’s Poet Laurate is an ambassador of the arts for every Edmontonian. 

Photo by Owen Armstrong

Who is Edmonton's Poet Laureate?

Shima Robinson

Shima Aisha Robinson is a community builder, poet and spoken word artist. As a veteran of the Alberta poetry community, she uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection. For Shima Aisha Robinson aka Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. 

She is the author of two books including HORN — 2016, Denseverse (self-published), and Bellow — 2022, Glass House Press. She is the Artistic Producer for the Edmonton Poetry Festival Society, and the Learning and Outreach Manager with Fringe Theatre.Shima Robinson will serve a two-year term as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate beginning July 1, 2023. Keep informed about Shima’s work and events by following @dense_verse on Instagram, @denseverse on Facebook, and visiting her website den​se​v​erse​.net.

Watch a video of Shima speaking about her Bellows Project, from 2019

Past Poets Laureate

Since the position was created in 2005, each Poet Laureate has vividly captured Edmonton’s spirit, history and events in their own unique voice.

  • Titilope Sonuga 2021 – 2023
  • Nisha Patel 2019 – 2021
  • Ahmed Knowmadic” Ali 2017 – 2019
  • Pierrette Requier 2015 — 2017
  • Mary Pinkoski 2013 – 2015
  • Anna Marie Sewell 2011 – 2013
  • Roland Pemberton (Cadence Weapon) 2009 – 2011
  • Ted Blodgett 2007 – 2009
  • Alice Major 2005 – 2007