Programs and Services

» Poet Laureate Program

Poet Laureate's Schedule | Poet Laureate's Bio | Application Form

Commencing in 2000, the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program was the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. The Saskatchewan Arts Board, Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild are partners in the program, which is under the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor, His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy.

Communities, non-profit organizations, service organizations, and educational institutions may submit applications requesting the participation of the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate at a special event in Saskatchewan.

Events Eligible for Funding by the Program

Preference will be given for events that meet the following criteria:

  • are linked to a significant community event (e.g. festival, anniversary, historical milestone)
  • involve a public presentation (e.g. lecture, awards presentation, luncheon address)
  • show a willingness to promote both the event and the presence and participation of the Poet Laureate
  • involve partnerships with other organizations (e.g. school, library, service club, arts organization)

Events NOT Eligible for Program Funding

  • workshops
  • readings in schools (unless they are accompanied by an event of a celebratory nature, such as the marking of an anniversary or the awarding of prizes)
  • events that are closed to the general public (unless it is a special event for a non-profit organization)

Please note too that the Poet Laureate does not write poems on demand. 


Costs Involving the Poet Laureate
Costs Covered By the Program

The program will cover the cost of the Poet Laureate's fee, travel, and meal expenses. 

Costs To Be Covered By the Host Organization

The host organization is responsible for covering the cost of the Poet Laureate's accommodation, if required.


How to Apply
If you would like to invite the Poet Laureate to your event, please take the following steps:

  • check to see that your event is eligible for funding by the Poet Laureate program (see above)
  • check to see if the Poet Laureate is available on the date your event is scheduled; the schedule can be found here
  • fill in an application form.
    • Please note: applications must be submitted and approved in advance of the event for funding to be provided 
  • applications must be received at least four weeks prior to the event, and bookings depend on the availability of the Poet Laureate and of funding
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation letter which will include the Poet Laureate's contact information.


Acknowledgment
Successful recipients will acknowledge the Poet Laureate sponsors on all printed materials. These must be included the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.


Background
Objectives of the Poet Laureate Program

  1. To celebrate the spirit of the people and place of Saskatchewan
  2. To raise the profile of writers in Saskatchewan
  3. To elevate writing as a vocation
  4. To raise awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word
  5. To create a recognized spokesperson for writing in general and poetry in particular who will be a respected participant of festive occasions and official functions in the province
  6. To be a focal point for the expression of Saskatchewan cultures (time, land, people) through the literary arts

History of the Program 

In 2000 Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to officially designate a provincial Poet Laureate.

  • Glen Sorestad was the first author to hold the position; his term began on December 1, 2000 and ended on November 30, 2004 
  • Louise B. Halfe (Sky Dancer) served from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2006
  • Robert Currie served from January 1, 2007 until December 31, 2010
  • Don Kerr served from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2013
  • Judith Krause served from January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2015
  • Gerry Hill served from January 1, 2016 until his resignation on January 17, 2017

Brenda Schmidt is the current Poet Laureate.


For more information, please contact:
Yolanda Hansen, Program Manager
T: 306.791.7743 
E: programs@skwriter.com

This website design and development made possible by Saskatchewan Lotteries and SaskCulture