Fred Wah, Parliamentary Poet Laureate

It was good to see Saskatchewan-born writer Fred Wah being appointed as the new parliamentary poet laureate. Wah is the fifth poet to hold that office. The first was George Bowering, whose roots, like Wah’s, are in the tradition of the American Black Mountain poets. Wah, former president of the Writers Union of Canada, won the Governor General’s Award in 1986 and teaches at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella in making the announcement said, “As a distinguished poet, editor, and teacher Fred Wah is known across Canada for his interest in a range of subjects. 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.”

Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer described Wah’s writing as being grounded in the country’s political and social landscapes. Wah said his work as a parliamentary poet laureate will involve an engagement of poetry as it “represents our homes and migrations, our questions of history and identity.”

I shot this photograph of the poet at the Pause Cafe in Windsor Ontario when Fred Wah was here to talk about his writing.

Check out the Globe and Mail article:

2 comments on “Fred Wah, Parliamentary Poet Laureate

  1. Joan Jolin says:

    Hmm I wonder if one day before too much longer Marty Gervais will be made Parliamentary Poet Laureate. After, of course, serving his time as Windsor’s Poet Laureate. Just an early morning thought


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