Calling all Poets for Nanaimo's Poetry Map

Let’s celebrate poetry and get creative about Nanaimo!


Inspired by Nanaimo's Poet Laureate, the Nanaimo Poetry Map has been created as a way for residents to rethink and re-know their city. A map, generally speaking, imposes a system of knowledge upon a place as it shows the official names of streets and buildings and basically assists the reader to find a particular location. This map is different, it asks the reader to explore the city through poetry, to understand the spaces within it differently because of the poems.

We are currently seeking poetry submissions for addition to the map. Poets will contribute works that are in some way related to a particular point on the map or site in Nanaimo. The poems are not intended to be descriptions of places rather they are impressions of them.

Readers of the map and poems have an opportunity to gain a new understanding of the spaces that we might think we know so well. Perhaps the poetry here will provoke us view and think about Nanaimo differently.

This map will continue to grow and evolve encouraging people to return to it often.

Link to Strategic Plan: Ensure that Nanaimo will have a strong and vibrant culture which evolves with a coordinated and collaborative effort leading to greater popularity as a place to visit, live, work and play.

Key Points

  • This map is intended to ask the reader to explore the city through poetry, to understand the spaces within it differently because of the poems.
  • Poets can submit their poems for Nanaimo's Poetry Map at One poem a month will be chosen by a selection panel and added to the map.


"The Poet Laureate's Poetry Column, that ran for 18 months in the Nanaimo Daily News, published many wonderful contributing poems. I reread the collection of poems from time to time, and it occurred to me that some were so site-specific that they drew my interest to the spot they were describing. If they attracted me to further explore the place they covered, I reasoned that those poems might well encourage others to explore Nanaimo, their hometown. "Why not put them on a map," I thought."

Nanaimo's Inaugural Poet Laureate
City of Nanaimo


"Calling all Poets" How to Submit Your Poem

This is a description of the project and information on how the public can submit poetry to the map.



Chris Barfoot
Culture and Heritage Coordinator
City of Nanaimo
Main Office
Culture & Heritage Department
City of Nanaimo

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