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Surrey Poet Laureate

Renée Sarojini Saklikar photo by Greg Ehlers

Renée Sarojini Saklikar

Renée Sarojini Saklikar is the author of children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections which won the Canadian Authors Award for best book of Canadian poetry to be published in English and was a finalist for the B.C. Book prize Dorothy Livesay award. She is also the co-editor of the anthology The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them. This anthology includes poetry performed during Lunch Poems at SFU, a poetry reading series that Renée helped to establish.

“A strong foundation of arts and culture is the hallmark of a thriving City,” said Mayor Linda Hepner.” As Surrey’s first Poet Laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar will creatively engage and connect with our community and will be a strong advocate for literacy and the literary arts.”

Renée is one of three National Advocates for The Writer’s Union of Canada and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Her poetry investigates, celebrates, and memorializes the poetry of place, particularly those stories integral to arrival, departure, settlement, and diaspora.

Since starting her role as Surrey’s Poet Laureate in October 2015, Renée has been working to create a legacy program of poetry-outreach that is multi-lingual and inter-cultural, in partnership with local organizations in Surrey. She is interested in furthering grass-roots connections with youth, senior, and community groups.

As Poet Laureate, Renée has participated in a number of events including Surrey International Writers Conference (SiWC); Surrey Art Gallery Sound Thinking Symposium; InFlux at Surrey Art Gallery; KPU Creative Writing class; Cedar Bark Poets meeting in Newton; Honey, Hives, & Poetry event at City Centre Library; and teen writing workshops at Surrey Libraries, Surrey high schools, and the Surrey Art Gallery. She is also participating in Semiahmoo Arts Double Exposure; Surrey Muse; Surrey International Children’s Festival; the City Centre Library Five-Year Anniversary; the Creative City Summit, the 2016 SiWC; and Surrey Remembers at the Surrey Museum.

Writing Consultations

Consults for June, July, and August are now full but check with the Poet Laureate for openings due to cancellations which sometimes occur: poetlaureate@surrey.ca.

Consults for the Fall of 2016 are now available for booking at Newton Library and at City Centre Library. Please see dates and times below.

Register for a consult: poetlaureate@surrey.ca

Newton Library, Meeting Room
Second Friday of the month Sept 9 and Oct 14
Slots available at 2pm, 3pm, or 4:15pm

City Centre Library, Room 306 or 418
Nov 4 and Dec 9
Slots available at 2pm, 3pm, or 4:15pm

Please ensure the following when sending in your work to the Poet Laureate:

  • If you are submitting prose writing, please make it double spaced, 12 point font,  ten pages maximum. Please do not send full manuscripts of novels.
  • If you are submitting poetry, please make it single spaced, 12 point font, ten pages maximum. Please put all your poems into one word document or PDF file. Do not send multiple files.
  • In all cases, ensure your name, email and a contact phone number is printed on the first page and number all your pages.

Please note that consults are popular and book-up fast: if interested, contact the Poet Laureate at your earliest opportunity!

Check the calendar of events for more writing and author events.

Photo of Renée Sarojini Saklikar is provided courtesy of Greg Ehlers, Senior Photographer Creative Studio SFU

Sponsors include City of Surrey, Surrey Libraries, Cultural Development Advisory Committee, Surrey Arts Services, Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Arts Council of Surrey, Creative Writing at Simon Fraser University, Semiahmoo Arts, Surrey Muse, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University