Welcome to PEI’s new Poet Laureate
Dianne Hicks Morrow has been named as Prince Edward Island’s fifth Poet Laureate.
Her latest book of poetry, “What Really Happened Is This: A Poetry Memoir,” won a 2012 PEI Book Award. Her other books include her first book of poetry, “Long Reach Home” (2002) and the non-fiction “Kindred Spirits: Relationships that Spark the Soul” (2005). A past president of the PEI Writers Guild, Ms. Hicks Morrow was presented the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island in 2008.
Poetry in the Council Chamber
PEI Poet Laureate Dianne Hicks Morrow’s introductory comments at Charlottetown City Hall monthly council meeting, 13 May 2013:
Thank you for participating in the 2013 Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge, a national initiative begun by the mayor of Regina in partnership with the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and the League of Canadian Poets. I believe part of my mandate as poet laureate is to make poetry less intimidating and more fun, so here goes… When I read Mayor Lee’s biography on the City website, I decided his long-service record deserved a sonnet (must be only 14 lines) in dramatic monologue form. In a dramatic monologue the “I” (Mayor Lee here) speaks to an unidentified “you”:
Dramatic Monologue in Mayor Lee’s Voice: A Sonnet
You asked me how the clarion call came
to seek office twenty-six years ago.
If I’d known then the municipal games—
hotel havoc, failed festivals, water woes—
I might never have run at all, kind sir.
But here we are, and I’ve run and I’ve run—
just like the energizer bunny blur—
obviously I’m still having some fun.
You say you want more advice from me:
how to break my record for longevity?
Here’s my hot tip for free—you’ll need to be
on the good side of Catherine Hennessey*
That way lies your blessing. In a nutshell—
any other way won’t go quite so well.
I invite other mayors across PEI to take part in the poetry challenge next April… Thank you.
* Catherine Hennessey is a well-known heritage activist on PEI who has successfully influenced heritage policy at Charlottetown City Hall during Mayor Lee’s tenure.
Laureate’s first public reading, Feb 2nd at Montague Library
Dianne Hicks Morrow reads at Montague Rotary Library on Feb. 2, 2013, her first public reading as PEI poet laureate. The reading was sponsored by the Montague Library Writers Guild, which acknowledges the support of the League of Canadian Poets and The Canada Council for the Arts.
Regular features on this site
When visiting this site, be sure to see:
- Past Poet laureate Hugh MacDonald’s chapbook “Through This Rain,” chosen as a finalist for a Writer’s Digest challenge, is now available on this site in a web version. There is also a downloadable (and printable) PDF edition.
- Poetry by currently active Prince Edward Island poets — check back regularly to see if your favourite poets have anything new (writers can update their web presence with a new poem once every three months) on the site ;
- A link to a randomly selected poem from our archives;
- Podcasts of poets reading their own work, which can be downloaded, added to a feed, or played within your browser window;
- Video and audio from the University of PEI’s “Island Voices” series, featuring former Poets Laureate Frank Ledwell and John Smith;
- A selection of poetry for children
- Poetry at school is the newest section on our site, and we are pleased to welcome a large group of poets from Montague Regional High School
- The Historical poets section of our site, which features a long poem, Chaim the Slaughterer, by the late Joseph Sherman; four poems by Lucy Maud Montgomery four poems by Milton Acorn and audio files of readings by Sherman and Acorn;
- Information about the PEI Poet Laureate Program
- A detailed bibliography of island poets ;
- A facility for poets to submit one poem of their choice to the online archive.