Tofino Poet Laureate Joanna Streetly. (Photo - Erin Linn McMullan)

Tofino Poet Laureate Joanna Streetly. (Photo - Erin Linn McMullan)

Joanna Streetly named Tofino’s first Poet Laureate

“She is known to go for the difficult and challenging subjects.”

West Coast writer Joanna Streetly is coming up roses.

Her new book, ‘Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast’, is a BC Bestseller and on April 30, at the tail end of National Poetry Month, she was appointed the honour of Tofino Poet Laureate.

The Poet Laureate program is a new iniatiative supported by District of Tofino Council, the Tofino Arts Council, the Pacific Rim Arts Society (PRAS), and the Clayoquot Writers Group.

Streetly’s scope of service includes engaging with schools, managing a social media account, and of course, creating poetry.

She will be paid a $5,000 honorarium for a one-year term. PRAS president, Mark Penney, thinks it’s healthy to recognize poetry and literature as an art form.

“We are enamoured with the idea of self expression for the community and finding a voice,” he said.

Penney told the Westerly the selection process was not an easy one, and that Streetly was elected based on integrity and not superficial appeal.

“She is known to go for the difficult and challenging subjects.”

During a phone interview, Streetly confirmed she had several profound topics under consideration.

“For poets, there are often things that bother you. You know, they rumble around in your head for a really long time and eventually they need out,” she said.

One of the projects she would like to do with the school students revolves around how life was in the Tofino before the road was built. Another subject she is fascinated about is the soundscape of the region.

“It would be a video poem that will involve local poets. We would include natural sound and the newer sounds that are creeping in.”

Streetly said she was also quite interested in interviewing people who cleaned up the last oil spill on the Coast and get first hand experiences.

“I think the role of the poet laureate is not so much to be elevated above any other poet, but more to reach out to the community and elicit poetry from the community that is already here.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the program is encouraged to visit: tofinopoetlaureate.ca.

Pacific Rim Arts SocietyPoetTofino,

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson kneels as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED: Vancouver Island paddle boarder’s orca encounter brings joy and outrage

Woman’s ‘best day’ criticized for disturbing the whales

Tofino’s library is currently located in the basement of the Tofino Legion building but talks are underway to build a brand new facility. (Andrew Bailey photo)
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Most Read