Youth Poet Laureate 

Edmonton, meet your new Youth Poet Laureate: Grayson Thate

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The City of Edmonton and the City of Edmonton Youth Council have named Grayson Thate as Edmonton’s new Youth Poet Laureate.

Thate is a 19-year-old poet and tap dancer based in Edmonton whose art is largely influenced by the sociopolitical climate, and by his experiences as a queer artist. When he isn’t writing, Grayson studies physics at the University of Alberta and undertakes advocacy and education work within LGBTQ+ communities.

“Youth have so many valuable ideas, and I can’t think of a better way to communicate these ideas than through writing,” says Thate. “Youth deserve to have spaces for their voices to be heard, and since the Youth Poet Laureate position was created, engagement and involvement of youth in Edmonton’s writing community has significantly increased. I think the role of Youth Poet Laureate is important because youth can have a mentor that they see themselves in and will feel that their ideas and voices have a place in the community.“

In 2016, he was awarded the Loic Cremer Creative Writing Scholarship in recognition of his commitment and passion to the writing community. As new Youth Poet Laureate, Thate wants to encourage youth to explore their identities through writing, and to engage in honest dialogue about the issues faced by marginalized communities. 

The Youth Poet Laureate performs at public events, including writing four original poems to be performed at Youth Council and City Council meetings, as well as creating a poetry project to engage with youth. The position is sponsored collaboratively  by the Edmonton Poetry Festival, City of Edmonton Youth Council and the City of Edmonton. 

For more information:
Media contact:
Francis Asuncion
Communications Advisor
780-423-4890

Contact Grayson at thatemck at ualberta dot ca 

 

Overview

The City of Edmonton Youth Council and City of Edmonton present the Youth Poet Laureate in Edmonton, Alberta. We have a proud of tradition of poets laureate within Canada and Edmonton continues to be a leader in ensuring that the work of youth poets is celebrated through the Youth Poet Laureate position. The Youth Poet Laureate brings a unique voice to the larger city and will promote youth civic engagement through poetry. 

The selected Youth Poet Laureate brings their unique voice to the larger city. Embarking on a one year term, the Youth Poet Laureate, will perform at public events and create a project that engages Edmonton youth in poetry. They will assist in setting a course to further bring Edmonton youth with the civic life.

Background

The role of Edmonton’s Youth Poet Laureate is to reflect the life of a city for youth through readings of poetry. As an ambassador for the literary arts, the Youth Poet Laureate incorporates poetry into a range of official and informal City activities. Recognizing that Edmonton has a vibrant arts community in which youth have a strong voice, the selected Youth Poet Laureate will bring that unique voice to the larger city.

Specifics:

  • The Youth Poet Laureate must be and maintain resident status of the City of Edmonton for the duration of the term, provided by proof of mailing address. 
  • The Youth Poet Laureate must be between the ages of 13-23 within the entirety of their term (ex. cannot turn 24 between November 1 and August 31).
  • Youth may only hold this position for one term and for one time.

Responsibilities:

  • At least once in the term to City Council (must be an original work)
  • At least once in the term to City of Edmonton Youth Council (must be an original work)
  •  Perform at youth and city-wide events as requested and determined mutually
  • At a minimum of two official City of Edmonton functions
  • Assume the role of the youth literary ambassador for the City of Edmonton
  • Create a community poetry project during their term to engage Edmonton youth in poetry
  • Additional possible activities of the Youth Poet Laureate could include:
    • Perform at youth and city-wide events as requested
    • Collaborate with the City of Edmonton's Poet Laureate

For any further questions contact Ian Smith, City of Edmonton, Citizen Services at 780-442-7161 or ian.smith2@edmonton.ca.  

Youth Poet Laureate 2017-2018

To Be Released By November 2017

Links

Nasra profiled in Avenue Magazine Edmonton.

Edmonton's First Youth Poet Laureate, Charlotte Cranston