City of Toronto recommends Lillian Allen as Toronto’s new Poet Laureate

Manjit Sing

Poet Lillian Allen

On April 25, the staff of the City of Toronto made Lillian Allen, a poet from Toronto, their choice to be Toronto’s seventh Poet Laureate. Allen’s nomination was accepted by the City Council at its meeting in May. A selection committee selected Allen after consulting with literary professionals.

The League of Canadian Poets honored Allen as a foremother of Canadian poetry. Allen is a well-known poet, performer, and arts activist who has worked for the arts for a long time. Allen is a pioneer in dub poetry, which is reggae-infused, politically charged poetry about resistance and optimistic futures.

With her influential reggae dub poetry and spoken word recordings, Allen, a two-time JUNO Award winner and pioneer in spoken word and dub poetry, artistically explores the aesthetics of old and new sounds. Allen has been a successful cultural strategist who has contributed to the cultural landscapes of Toronto and Canada. At Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), she also teaches creative writing.

Toronto’s most memorable Artist Laureate was named in 2001. The position honors a Toronto poet whose work exemplifies excellence and addresses issues that are relevant to Torontonians. It is an advocate for poetry, language, and the arts. The Laureate is a minister for verse and human expression and implants verse into a scope of official and casual city exercises to draw in individuals to the scholarly world. The Writer Laureate’s command likewise incorporates making an inheritance project that will be extraordinary to the person. The project that Allen left behind will be announced at a later time.

Allen will stand firm on the footing for a very long time and get a yearly honorarium of $10,000 for filling in as Toronto’s scholarly diplomat supporting neighborhood artistic expressions and scribes.

Dennis Lee, Pier Giorgio di Cicco, Dionne Brand, George Elliott Clarke, Anne Michaels, and Al Moritz (A.F. Moritz) are among the distinguished poets Laureates of Toronto since 2001, arranged chronologically.

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