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Inaugural Poet Laureate selected for Surrey


October 22, 2015

Renée Sarojini Saklikar has been selected as the inaugural Poet Laureate for Surrey.  Renée 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.


“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.


“We’re excited to welcome Renée as the Poet Laureate for Surrey,” said Meghan Savage, Information Services Librarian at Surrey Libraries and Poet Laureate Project Coordinator. “Renée demonstrates a strong passion and enthusiasm for connecting the people of Surrey through poetry.”


The 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 helped to establish the Poet Laureate project and to select the new Poet Laureate, which is a two year honorary position that receives an annual honorarium of $5000.


Writing Consultations

Renée will host writing consultations on the second Friday of the month. She is offering a free consultation on your poetry or prose. You are welcome to submit a maximum of 10 double-spaced pages to Renée. Registration is required at least one week prior to the consult date.

Renée will read your manuscript before your 45-minute meeting. At the meeting, she may provide you with suggestions about editing, how to publish your work, and how to work with editors and publishers.

Register for a consult:

At City Centre Library, Room 306
Second Friday of the month: Nov 13 and Dec 11, 2015
Slots available at 4pm, 5pm, or 6:15pm

At Semiahmoo Arts Centre, Multipurpose Room B
South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, 14601 – 20th Avenue, Surrey
Second Friday of the month: Jan 8, Feb 12, and March 11, 2016
Slots available at 2pm, 3pm, or 4:15pm

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



For more information:


Melanie Houlden

Chief Librarian

Surrey Libraries