City of Kingston Announces Jason Heroux as New Poet Laureate

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RELEASE — The City of Kingston is pleased to announce that Jason Heroux has been appointed Kingston’s third Poet Laureate. This honourary position celebrates the contribution of poetry and literary arts to life in Kingston.

Heroux’s first event as Poet Laureate will be at the Mayor’s Levee on Jan. 1, 2019, where he will read a new poem to mark the celebration.

“I’m deeply honoured to accept this appointment of Poet Laureate for the City of Kingston, and feel truly lucky to live in a city that values poets and poetry,” says Jason Heroux. “Through this position, I hope to explore new ways of introducing poetry to the hearts and minds of the community, and look forward to celebrating the diverse texture of Kingston’s past, present, and future literary arts.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Jason Heroux to the position of Kingston’s Poet Laureate,” says Colin Wiginton, cultural director, City of Kingston. “The Poet Laureate program reflects the City’s belief in and support of the literary arts and recognizes the achievements of a local poet whose work exhibits excellence and resonates with the people of this community.”

About Jason Heroux

Jason Heroux is the author of four books of poetry: Memoirs of an Alias (2004); Emergency Hallelujah (2008); Natural Capital (2012) and Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines (2016). He is also the author of three novels: Good Evening, Central Laundromat (2010); We Wish You a Happy Killday (2014) and Amusement Park of Constant Sorrow (2018).

Born in Montreal, Jason came to Kingston in 1990 to attend Queen’s University and has lived here ever since. Translated into French, Italian, and Arabic, his poetry has been featured in several anthologies, including Breathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, and Best Canadian Poetry in English 2008, 2011 and 2016, and has appeared in magazines and journals in Canada, the U.S, Belgium, France and Italy.

About the Poet Laureate

The Poet Laureate is a four-year term and recognizes individual achievement in poetry, creating a spokesperson for literacy arts within the community. The position of the Poet Laureate increases awareness of Kingston as a centre of writing excellence and fosters creative writing throughout the city.

Recognizing Helen Humphreys

The City of Kingston would also like to acknowledge outgoing Poet Laureate, Helen Humphreys for her contributions and achievements in this position. During her time as Poet Laureate, Humphreys participated in the annual Mayor’s Levee event, reading new poems written to address or reflect one or more aspects of life in Kingston.

Humphreys also worked closely with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library to deliver mentorship initiatives, offering one-on-one meetings with published and unpublished poets, free workshops that encouraged local poets to develop their skills, and public readings. Humphreys’ legacy project will be announced soon.

More details will be forthcoming about an event in April 2019 to celebrate Kingston’s Poets Laureate, Jason Heroux and Helen Humphreys as part of National Poetry Month.

Learn more about the Poet Laureate program


Release source (tweet added) – City of Kingston
Photos: Top: John Mark-Smith (cc)
Jason Heroux – @jason_heroux