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

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Ucluelet First Nation president Chuck McCarthy, right, stands with Ucluelet’s mayor and council during the Oct. 13 flag raising ceremony. (Submitted photo)
Council chambers host Ucluelet First Nation flag raising ceremony

District of Ucluelet and Yuułuʔiłʔath Government look towards moving forward collectively

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
School District 70 gets a new name

Name change reflects district’s West Coast roots

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read