Youth Poet Laureate

The Youth Poet Laureate serves as a “young people’s poet”, raising awareness of poetry, the literary arts and the positive impact literature and poetry can have on community life. 

Mentored by the Poet Laureate, the Youth Poet Laureate organizes community-based youth poetry projects, and presents original work to Council; the Youth Advisory Council; and the community at various civic events.

Valina Zanetti (2019-2021)

At their meeting held February 4, 2019, Council appointed Ms. Valina Zanetti as Nanaimo's next Youth Poet Laureate for a two-year term.  Valina was chosen for her ability to clearly articulate her goals as the Youth Poet Laureate.  Many of her ideas had great aspects and spoke of the importance of partnerships and collaborations, and her love for animals really shone through. Valina has the ability to be very inspirational to aspiring young poets and is looking forward to working with them on many creative initiatives.  "Youth nowadays have a lot to say, so I am excited to help let these passionate young minds be heard" said Valina. 

Kailey DeFehr (2017-2018)

Kailey DeFehr was named Nanaimo’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate in 2017. Her goal was to extend her passion to other young poets within the community, to help them find or rediscover a voice that matters: their own.  Poetry has a tendency to be undervalued, and Ms. DeFehr believes that young poets may have a difficult time admitting in today’s world how much we love and appreciate this ancient form of communication. Kailey added a long list of accomplishments during her term, including:

  • Interviews with Nanaimo News Bulletin and TheNav.
  • Poetry readings various City Council meetings, local performances and events, including: Canada’s 150th Anniversary Party at VIRL, a Wordstorm event, the Poet Laureate Gala Celebration, Youth Advisory Council meeting, and a Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre event.
  • Hosted workshops and presentations at Vancouver Island University, various high schools and the Youth Engagement Forum.
  • Launched the City of Nanaimo's High School Poetry Contest.
  • Launched City of Nanaimo's “Beyond These City Streets” Youth Poetry Video Anthology project

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Last updated: August 19, 2019

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