The City of Mississauga’s second Poet Laureate was introduced to City Council earlier today and his first public appearance has been confirmed.
Wali Shah, a resident and student at the University of Toronto Mississauga will assume the role of Poet Laureate from the City’s first honorary Poet Laureate, Anna Yin this week.
Shah is a 22-year old spoken word poet and TEDx speaker who has performed with international recording artists including Selena Gomez and Kendrick Lamar. He will perform for the first time as Poet Laureate during the City’s Canada Day celebration on July 1 at Mississauga Celebration Square.
Nominations for the City’s top poetry post opened at the end of January. To be considered, candidates had to meet the following criteria:
• be a published poet or spoken word artist;
• be a current Mississauga resident;
• have an established body of work or have been recognized for notable contributions to the literary arts;
• some of their work should be relevant to Mississauga and/or subjects that reflect the life of the city; and
• have the ability to represent the values of the City in a professional manner.
“Wali’s selection as Poet Laureate makes a statement about the arts in Mississauga,” said Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division, City of Mississauga. “Like Wali, our arts scene is young, cool, and emerging with unlimited potential. Wali is the perfect Poet Laureate for our City and he’ll do a fantastic job with championing and raising the profile of literary arts and spoken word across Mississauga and beyond.”
According to Damaso, Shah will focus on three key objectives as the new Poet Laureate:
• serve as a literary ambassador for the City of Mississauga to audiences both within and outside of the city;
• raise the profile of writers in Mississauga; and
• create an artistic legacy through public readings and civic interactions. Continue reading City’s New Poet Laureate Has Been Announced and Hits the Stage this Summer