Current Poet Laureate
Michel Pleau, 2014-2016
News and Events
January 7, 2014 (Ottawa) – The Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, announced the appointment of Michel Pleau as Canada’s next Parliamentary Poet Laureate, effective January 1, 2014. Mr. Pleau is the sixth poet to hold this office, succeeding Fred Wah, whose two-year term ended on December 31, 2013.
“A leading figure in the artistic community, Michel Pleau has an impressive body of work to his credit,” said Speaker Kinsella. “The passion for poetry he brings to his new role as Parliamentary Poet Laureate will serve Canadians well as he draws upon his extensive experience to inspire others with his writing and teaching.”
“Michel Pleau is well known for being a generous author," indicates Speaker Scheer. “He takes genuine pleasure in discussing poetry with others; he listens as intently as he writes and has influenced many other young writers with his humanity.”
Mr. Pleau was selected by the Speakers upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee composed of Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages; Lucie L. Séguin, Acting Assistant Deputy Minister at Library and Archives Canada; Joanne Larocque-Poirier, Head, Endowments and Prizes Section at the Canada Council for the Arts, and Sonia L’Heureux, Parliamentary Librarian.
Michel Pleau indicates he is delighted and honoured to act as “ambassador” of literature. As Canada’s sixth Parliamentary Poet Laureate, he intends to continue his life’s work of helping others discover and love poetry.
Mr. Pleau has been writing for 25 years and has been published more than a dozen times. He has received numerous awards over the course of his career, with La lenteur du monde earning him the 2008 Governor General Award in Poetry.
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 performs 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 cultural collection, and perform related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian. The Speakers are pleased to welcome Mr. Pleau, and are looking forward to read his future works as Parliamentary Poet Laureate.
Biographical notes and a photo of Michel Pleau are available on-line at www.parl.gc.ca/poet.
For additional information media may contact:
Library of Parliament Media Relations