The purpose of a Poet Laureate is to serve as a "people's poet". The Poet Laureate raises the profile of the local literary arts by creating and presenting works that are relevant to the life and culture of our city.
Tina Biello (2017-2020)
Tina Biello was selected as Poet Laureate for her strong connection to the artistic community and passion for the arts. She has a great vision and plan for her new role and is very keen and excited to engage the mainstream community in poetry. As a published poet who has done readings in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Fanny Bay, Montreal and Italy, she has seen firsthand the importance of getting poetry to more of the population. Most people who attend readings are already poetry aficionados, but Ms. Biello would love to see more people appreciate the power of poetry. She understands the importance of collaborating with other art forms through her experience working with other artists. She also worked with composers and has even had her poems composed into music.
Naomi Beth Wakan (2013-2016)
Naomi Beth Wakan was named Nanaimo's inaugural Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2016. She raised awareness of poetry, literary arts and the positive impact that poetry has on community life. She is a prolific writer and a respected member of the local literary community. (www.naomiwakan.com)