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Rachel Rose appointed Vancouverís Poet Laureate

Posted: Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:40am

Congratulations to award-winning poet, essayist and writer Rachel Rose, who has just been appointed Vancouver’s fourth Poet Laureate!

The Poet Laureate Program was established by the City Council in December 2006, and aims to develop literature and literacy in Vancouver’s cultural landscape. During the three year term, Rose plans to connect emerging poets with chefs, urban farmers, food bank workers, beekeepers and others to create a collection of poetry inspired by food.

Rose says that “All of us carry memories of those foods that taste like home… Poetry inspired by food invites poets to write provocative work about the environment, class, immigration, and occupation, but it also allows us to celebrate our city's strengths in a way that brings us together.

“This feast of homegrown talent will culminate in a book profiling the best of these collaborations. I look forward to welcoming everyone to the table.”

Rachel Rose’s latest book, the powerful and emotive Song and Spectacle, won the prestigious Pat Lowther Award as well as the Audre Lorde Award. Deeply intimate and self-aware, Rose’s poetryhas the extraordinary ability to combine the very personal with the universal. She delves into myth to retell the stories of our time, and in doing so penetrates to the heart of sacrifice, love and death while never losing touch with humour and playfulness.Most recently, Rose was awarded the 2014 Pushcart Prize, which honours the best poetry, short fiction, essays and literature of the year.

Rose is a writer whose work has appeared in journals in Canada, the US, New Zealand and Japan. Her first book, Giving My Body to Science (McGill/Queen’s University Press, 1999) was also a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award, as well as the Gerald Lampert Award and the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal. It won the Quebec Writers’ Federation A.M. Klein Award. Her second book, Notes on Arrival and Departure, was published by McClelland & Stewart in 2005. Winner of the Peterson Memorial Prize for poetry and the Bronwen Wallace award for fiction, Rose holds a BA in English from McGill University and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She is currently the poetry and lyric prose mentor at Simon Fraser University.

Rose will be officially presented as Poet Laureate by Vancouver Major Gregor Robertson at the Mayor’s Arts Awards on Tuesday, October 7th, 6:30pm, at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.