Quebec's Michel Pleau named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate

Parliament of Canada Poet Laureate Michel Pleau. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

OTTAWA - Michel Pleau, a winner of the Governor General's Award for poetry, has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate.

Pleau, the sixth person to hold the post, replaces Fred Wah, whose two-year term expired at the end of December.

The new poet laureate was recommended by a selection committee which included Graham Fraser, the commissioner of official languages, and Sonia L'Heureux, the parliamentary librarian.

Pleau says he's delighted with the appointment.

The Quebec City native also says he intends to continue his life’s work of helping others discover poetry.

He won the Governor General's Award in 2008.

Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella said Pleau has created an impressive body of work.

"The passion for poetry he brings to his new role as parliamentary poet laureate will serve Canadians well as he draws upon his extensive experience to inspire others with his writing and teaching," Kinsella said.

House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer described Pleau as a "generous author" who is well-suited to his new role.

"He takes genuine pleasure in discussing poetry with others; he listens as intently as he writes and has influenced many other young writers with his humanity."

Parliament created the office of the poet laureate in 2001.

The job includes composing poems for use on state occasions.


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