Current Poet Laureate
Fred Wah, 2011-2013
News and Events
Titles with * are available in French only
- 28 June 2013
Fred Wah appointed Officer of the Order of Canada
The Governor General of Canada | News Release: Appointments to the Order of Canada
- 16 April 2013
CBC.ca|CBC Manitoba|Scene: Poet laureate of Canada picks book that changed his life
- 7 March 2013
Ottawa Citizen: Poet laureate waxes political – but not too political
- 25 February 2013
The Political Poem: An Invitation from the Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 23 January 2013
The Vancouver Sun: Pete McMartin: Why is it we never see any public poetry?
- 21 December 2012
The Globe and Mail – Poetry | Fred Wah: A portrait in his own words (and a few others’)
- 19 December 2012
Gave an interview with Vancouver Co-Op Radio
- 2 November 2012
Ryerson University | “Poetry’s Public”: An International Seminar for the Centre for Contemporary Poetry
- Fall 2012 Edition
The Word: Newsletter UBC English department
- 25 April 2012
CBC.ca|CBC Books|Canada Writes: Poetry Month Q&A: Fred Wah
- 11 March 2012
Macleans.ca | Capital Diary: Canada’s new Poet Laureate Fred Wah
- 29 February 2012
The Speaker of the Senate of Canada: New Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 30 January 2012
CBC.ca|CBC Books: Canada’s new Poet Laureate Fred Wah on The Sunday Edition
- 29 January 2012
CBC.ca|North by Northwest: Fred Wah: Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 26 January 2012
Arts WIRE | University of British Columbia: Fred Wah: ‘All Creativity Is Political’
- 10 January 2012
The Ubyssey: In conversation with Fred Wah, the new Poet Laureate of Canada
- 29 December 2011
Le Devoir | En Bref : Fred Wah, poète du Parlement *
Nelson Star: ‘Kootenay boy’ honoured as Parliament’s Poet
- 24 December 2011
Poetry Quebec: Poetry Quebec Salutes Fred Wah: Poet Laureate of Canada 2012-2014
- 21 December 2011
The Globe and Mail | Ottawa Notebook: Multicultural 'obsession' drives new Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 20 December 2011
Canada.com: Fred Wah named Canada’s fifth Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Global News: Saskatchewan Writer Fred Wah named Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 20 December 2011
Appointment of new Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- 5 July 2013, Invermere, B.C.
Wildsight Invermere - Led the High(ku) Mountain Walk:
Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate coming to the valley
When Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate came to walk and talk with Wildsight Invermere
- 30 April 2013, Vancouver, B.C.
Gladstone Secondary: Guest Speaker in the creative writing class
- 25 April 2013, Edmonton, Alta.
National Arts Summit - Reading
- 23 to 28 April 2013, Edmonton, Alta.
Guest Author at the Edmonton Poetry Festival
- 16 April 2013, Winnipeg, Man.
Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival - Thin Air
- 10 April 2013, University of British Columbia, B.C.
2013 Garnett G. Sedgewick Memorial Lecture: "Permissions: TISH poetics 1963 Thereafter-"
- 8 April 2013, Vancouver, B.C.
Hogan's Alley Open Readings - Reading
- 21 March 2013, Vancouver, B.C.
Introduction to a Literary Film event
- 16 March 2013, Campbell River, B.C.
Words on the Water Festival Maritime Heritage Centre
- 6 March 2013, Ottawa, Ont.
Guest Author at the Politics and the Pen Gala
Fred Wah, Parliamentary Poet Laureate
accompagnied by fellow Poets and Novelists
Dionne Brand and Nicole Brossard
- 7 March 2013, Ottawa, Ont.
The Political Poem: An Invitation From The Parliamentary Poet Laureate
The Ottawa Citizen: Poet laureate waxes political — but not too political
Pesbo: Poetry Journal | Seminar review by attendee
- 26 February 2013, Richmond, B.C.
UB.C. – Webcast hosted by Richmond Public Library
Standing in the Doorway – the Hyphen in Chinese-Canadian Poetry | Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
- 11 to 23 February 2013, Banff, Alta.
The Banff Centre | Program Mentor at In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge
Made in Banff – The Banff Centre Blog Interview
- 27 – 28 November 2012, Ottawa, Ont.
Attended the Governor General Literary Awards 2012
Attended Parliament Event in Honour of the 2012 recipients of the Governor General Literary Awards
- 22 November 2012, Vancouver, B.C.
Gave a seminar at Simon Fraser University
Gave a reading at the University of British Columbia
- 30 October 2012, Toronto, Ont.
Participated in Poetry Panel “Contempo” through Ryerson University. Livestream with various Universities in the UK.
Ryerson University, Brighton University, UK, Aberystwyth University, UK
- 29 October 2012, Toronto, Ont.
Participated in a school visit at Wilkinson Primary School (Toronto District School Board)
- 24 to 26 October 2012, Ontario
Readings and school visits in Huron and Perth Counties
- 22 October 2012, Calgary, Alta.
University of Calgary : Poem of the season
- 23 June 2012, Riondel, B.C.
Federation of B.C. Writers : Poetry Workshop in Riondel
- 24 to 27 May 2012, Vancouver, B.C.
Participated in the Writers Union of Canada AGM, Vancouver
- May 2012, New Denver, B.C.
Grade School Workshop and Reading with Stuart Ross and Terry Taylor
- 26 April 2012, Toronto, Ont.
Ryerson University | Department of English: Graduate Program Distinguished Speaker
- 31 March 2012, Vancouver, B.C.
Benefit Reading for New Star Press
- 23 March 2012, Vancouver, B.C.
Classroom Presentation at Simon Fraser University
- 16 March 2012, Edmonton, Alta.
Robert Kroetsch Memorial Reading in Edmonton
- 15 March 2012, Guelph, Ont.
University of Guelph | College of Arts | TransCanada Institute presents Fred Wah
- 8 March 2012, Toronto, Ont.
Participated in a Reading with Hoa Nguyen organised by Toronto New School of Writing
- 5 and 6 March 2012, Windsor, Ont.
Reading and Discussion organised by University of Windsor
- 5 March 2012, Toronto, Ont.
Writer-in-residence at Ryerson University
- 1 March 2012, Ottawa, Ont.
Guest Poet at VerseFest 2012
Appointment of a new Parliamentary Poet Laureate
December 20, 2011 (Ottawa) – The Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, today announced the appointment of Fred Wah as Canada’s next Parliamentary Poet Laureate, effective immediately. Mr. Wah is the fifth poet to hold this office.
“As a distinguished poet, editor, and teacher Fred Wah is known across Canada for his interest in a range of subjects,” said Speaker Kinsella. “Mr. Wah brings forth a collaborative approach and unique perspective to his work inspiring younger poets, students and others both nationally and internationally with his reflections on Canadian culture.”
"Fred Wah’s poetry is grounded in Canada’s political and social landscapes,” said Speaker Scheer. "He has done much to encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language within Canadian society."
Mr. Wah was selected by the Speakers upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee composed of Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages; Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, and Sonia L’Heureux, Assistant Parliamentary Librarian.
Reflecting on his nomination, Fred Wah intends to share his enthusiasm for new poets and artists, and will bring to the position the passion and dedication he brings to all his work. “My work as Parliamentary Poet Laureate will continue to engage poetry as it represents our homes and migrations, our questions of history and identity. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sustain poetry’s presence in our national imaginary.”
Mr. Wah has been writing and publishing since 1965. Author of five limited-edition chapbooks and 18 books, his repertoire includes the 1986 Governor General Award-wining poetry book Waiting for Saskatchewan. Fred Wah has consistently challenged and thrilled readers and has had a major influence on multiple generations of writers.
Overview of Parliamentary Poet Program:
Federal legislators created the position of Parliamentary Poet Laureate in 2001 to draw Canadians’ attention to the reading and writing of poetry. Pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act, the Poet Laureate may perform a range of duties, including: compose poetry, particularly for use in Parliament on occasions of state, sponsor poetry readings, advise the Parliamentary Librarian on the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich the collection’s cultural holdings, and perform related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian.
Biographical notes and a photo of Fred Wah are available on-line at www.parl.gc.ca/poet.
For additional information media may contact:
Library of Parliament Media Relations