The Poet Laureate is a literary ambassador for the City of Nanaimo. Through their role they raise the profile of literary arts in our community by creating and presenting poetic works and activities that are relevant to our times and respond to our place.
Nanaimo’s next Poet Laureate will engage and inspire, bring their own unique voice and experience to collaborate and realize poetry projects for the benefit of our community.
Activating poetry through a Civic Role
The activities of the Poet Laureate will be shaped by the Poet’s own artistic objectives and trajectory. They will be invited to:
- participate in the life of the city and serve as a literary ambassador for Nanaimo;
- participate in agreed upon civic events by presenting works that are relevant to life in Nanaimo. Events in the past include reciting at civic Canada Day celebrations, or at Council meetings);
- inform and participate in programming organized by the City, or by City partners, related to National Poetry Month (April);
- produce at least one new work each year that is relevant to life in Nanaimo and collaborate to disseminate that work to a broad public
- liaise with and serve as a mentor to Nanaimo’s Youth Poet Laureate
- work in collaboration with City Staff and other partners as appropriate.
Image by Dirk Heydemann from HA photography
Kamal Parmar (2021-2023)
Kamal Parmar is a Nanaimo-based poet and writer who has been passionately engaged with writing from a very early age. She experiments often with Haiku poetry and also with creative non-fiction. Her poems explore a range of topics, from childhood recollections
of her home in India, to the beauty of the Canadian prairies, to her personal journey, alongside her mother, through Alzheimer’s. Kamal’s work has been published in the UK, Canada and India. Her books include Still Waters (2020),
Letters to a Son and a Daughter (2019), In the Rising Mist (2013), Fleeting Shadows (2010) and Filigree and Flint (1997). Kamal has been involved in the life of the cultural community in Nanaimo for many
years. She has frequently presented poems at venues across Vancouver Island, was involved with the City of Nanaimo’s Culture Committee, and more recently with Nanaimo Arts Council. She is active member of a several provincial and national
writers’ organizations and guilds. Currently, she is an Associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, and is a Board member of the Federation of BC Writers. She is also a member of Haiku Canada and of The Writers Union of Canada and the
Canadian Authors Association. She has been involved with the Ontario Poetry Society.
On the occasion of her appointment to the role of Poet Laureate, Kamal Parmar offers a poem called Summer is Passing.