For over a decade the city of Victoria has been celebrating local writers with the honorary position of Poet Laureate, or the “people’s poet”, and since 2013 the Youth Poet Laureate has given a platform for local youth to engage with the arts.

Now, Victoria has partnered with the Greater Victoria Public Library to find this year’s Poet Laureate, and is welcoming nominations, which can be self-nominations or on behalf of someone else.

The people’s poet is expected to “celebrate and reflect the life of the city through literature and poetry,” according to the city-wide press release. “Victoria’s Poet Laureate serves as a champion for poetry, language and the arts, and creates a unique artistic legacy through a variety of public poetry events and civic functions.”

Candidates for the position must be poets who live in the Capital Region, including the Gulf Islands, who have an established body of work and have received notable literary recognition.

The position has a four year term that begins on January 1, 2019 and ends December 31, 2022. The poet will also receive an honorarium of $4500 per year, and $1000 for events during poetry month.

Meanwhile, the Youth Poet Laureate position, created by the Victoria Youth Council, asks the young people’s poet to engage the community, and reach out to youth through peer-to-peer education and inspiration, especially through youth poetry events.

Candidates for the Youth Poet Laureate position must be 14 to 24 years old, live in the Capital Region, including Gulf Islands, and have a clear plan to engage the community with events, writing, and spoken word.

The position spans one year, and the poet will receive a $1750 honorarium, $1000 of project funding, and a year-long mentorship with the Poet Laureate.

If you’d like to nominate someone (including yourself) for Poet Laureate, or would like to read further information, you can check out the City of Victoria’s call for nominations.

For more information on the Youth Poet Laureate position, or to make a nomination, visit the City of Victoria website’s page here.