Posts Tagged ‘Poet Laureate’

Calgary Poet Laureate

August 1, 2011

Here’s the letter the Foundation for Public Poetry had published in the Calgary Herald. The next day, Calgary City Council voted 13-2 in favour of having a Poet Laureate.

from: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Properly+paid/5151081/story.html
Properly paid
By Jack Locke, Calgary Herald July 24, 2011

Funding a poet laureate position can be the wisest investment a government makes. A poet can, and often does, help a community see the daily flaws and foibles that are commonplace. A poet can put those things we take for granted into a new perspective. A poet can illuminate the tiniest detail of daily life so that citizens become more considerate. A poet can help our technologically lusting world from becoming inhumane.

As Calgary’s city council debates the details of creating a poet laureate, I’d have to admit the principle is a great one. However, if city council does not see the great benefit from adequately funding such a position with municipal funds, then they should forgo the position.

An annual $10,000 contribution by the city is like the dandruff that falls from my scalp, almost imperceptible in the global scheme of things. If the city municipal corporation cannot pay a poet a decent sum, then $10,000 solicited from private funders is frankly an insult.

Calgary’s poet laureate should be compensated in a manner commensurate with Calgary’s reputation as a world-class city.

Jack Locke

Jack Locke is poet-in-chief at the Foundation for Public Poetry.