Poet Laureate Program
» Poet Laureate Program
Commencing in 2000, the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program was the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. The Youth Poet Laureate is a brand new addition to the program. The program is organized by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild and is under the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty.
The SWG redesigned the program in 2019 to continue the tradition of honouring Saskatchewan poets and poetry community while adding the new position of Youth Poet Laureate and exciting new community engagement opportunities.
Objectives of the Poet Laureate Program
- To celebrate the spirit of the people and place of Saskatchewan through the literary arts
- To raise the profile of writers in Saskatchewan
- To elevate writing as a vocation
- To raise awareness of the power of poetry and the spoken word
- To act as an Ambassador for writing in general, poetry in particular and for the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild
The Poet Laureate will have:
- A significant body of work, including a minimum of two books of professionally published poetry;
- Achieved recognition for the literary merit of his/her work;
- A record of public involvement in the literary life of the province;
- A current resident of Saskatchewan.
The Youth Poet Laureate will meet the following criteria:
- Have a demonstrated commitment to writing, with a passion for poetry and/or spoken word;
- Have some record of public involvement in the writing culture of the province;
- Have pursued some form of formal or informal professional development;
- Is between the ages of 18-25 years old;
- Be a current resident of Saskatchewan.
History of the Program
In 2000 Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to officially designate a provincial Poet Laureate. Originally a partnership between the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Saskatchewan Book Awards, the SWG has assumed sole responsibilty for the Poet Laureate program as of 2019.
- 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 served from April 1, 2017 until December 31, 2018
For more information, please contact:
Yolanda Hansen, Program Manager