Cultural Partnerships

Poet Laureate of Toronto

Toronto's Poet Laureate serves as the City's literary ambassador. As an advocate for poetry, language and the arts, the Poet Laureate attends events across the city to promote and attract people to the literary world. The Poet Laureate's mandate also includes the creation of a legacy project that will be unique to the individual.

The position of the Poet Laureate honours a Toronto poet whose work displays excellence and has written on themes of relevance to Torontonians.

Terms of Reference

Upcoming Events

Poetry City 2017

Tuesday March 28, 2017, 9:30 am
Toronto City Council chamber

Poetry City is an annual celebration of National Poetry Month (April) encouraging mayors and city councils across Canada to invite a local poet to do a short reading at a city council meeting in March or April. This year, Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke challenges mayors to take up the challenge! Toronto's Poet Laureate has it covered!

Previous Poets Laureate

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Toronto's Second Poet Laureate Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, 2004 - 2009

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco was Toronto's second Poet Laureate from 2004 – 2009. The author of 17 collections of poetry, Di Cicco extended the role of Poet Laureate beyond the area of arts advocacy and into the realm of "civic aesthetic." Di Cicco's legacy as Poet Laureate included the book Municipal Mind: Manifestos for the Creative City.

Poet Dennis Lee

Toronto's First Poet Laureate Dennis Lee, 2001-2004

Dennis Lee was Toronto's Poet Laureate from 2001 - 2004. He is the author of Civil Elegies (1968), Alligator Pie (1974) and Jelly Belly (1983), among other works. Lee's legacy project as Poet Laureate was the Cultural Legacy Program, an initiative that weaves the names of Toronto's artists and thinkers into the fabric of the city on plaques.