|Calgary Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, recited his poem "Onward" at a City Council April 8, 2013|
Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alderman Gian-Carlo Carra also shared their penchant for poetry with a recital of their own creations, and Nenshi challenged the remaining councillors to join the celebration with readings later this month.
“I think for Council to do this is such a wonderful gesture and really, a nod to the notion that when we find ways to inject art forms into our daily lives, we don’t have to keep trying to convince people that art is important ,” Demeanor said.
The performances were in support of the second annual Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge issued by Regina Mayor Michael Fougere to counterparts across Canada.
This is the second year Calgary accepted the challenge, and Demeanor’s second year participating with a performance for Council. He was appointed Calgary’s first poet laureate in March 2012.
“The purpose of the challenge is to celebrate poetry, writing, small presses and the contributions of poets and all writers to the cultural life in our communities,” states website Poets.ca, which lists 27 participating communities as of Apr. 10. National Poetry Month also celebrates libraries and gives occasion to recognize the many civic and regional leaders who promote literacy and reading.
Onward, The City’s official motto featured on its crest was the subject of Demeanor’s poem. He credits his inspiration to Calgary’s Historical Laureate Harry Sanders who told him of the motto’s history, as well as contributors to online discussion pages debating Tourism Calgary’s new slogan “Be part of the energy.” The poem’s opening line, “At least we’re not Edmonton” is easily recognized as one of the comments Demeanor found on those discussion pages.Visit Arts & Culture on The City's website to read both Demeanor's and Nenshi's poems.
To learn more or to take part in other celebrations of National Poetry Month:
- Follow the hashtag #poetrymonth on Twitter;
- Keep up with Demeanor’s engagements through ‘Calgary Poet Laureate’ on Facebook;
- Check out the 10th annual Calgary Spoken Word Poetry Festival, which features 40 events involving 100 artists scheduled throughout April.