The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is delighted to announce Lauren (Lo) Klassen as the 4th Youth Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan. Lauren's term will begin August 1, 2022 and continue until July 31, 2023.
The Saskatchewan Youth Poet Laureate celebrates Saskatchewan—its people, spirit, and land—through the literary arts, and act as an ambassador and champion of poetry and writing. Their commitment to writing, passion for poetry, and community engagement through their position raises awareness of the power of poetry and engages all residents in the written and spoken word.
Lauren is a community-based educator and poet living on Treaty Six territory. Her artistic work often reflects themes “twenty-somethings” like herself encounter through vulnerability and humor. She is one of the organizers of the youth poetry collective Write Out Loud and she works as a teacher in Saskatoon. In her six years of performing, Lo has had the privilege of performing at the national festival Voices of Today in Toronto for 2017, 2018, 2019. Her poetry has been published in the Sheaf University of Saskatchewan paper and in a national chapbook. She has had the pleasure of opening for Shane Koyczan.
Lauren believes “we all have a poem inside of us that is waiting to be shared". Through participating in the poetry community in Saskatoon and across Canada, she has grown as a spoken word poet, and has connected with students and people who share her passion for poetry. The jury believes Lauren’s ability to reach young people in diverse communities will inspire them to share their poetry and explore how it can change their lives.
To listen to Lauren speak about her new role and read a poem, please watch this announcement video.
Previous Youth Poets Laureate include Alasdair Rees (2019-2020), Peace Akintade (2020-2021) and Warsha Mushtaq (2021-2022).
Commencing in 2000, the Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Program was the first provincial program of its kind in Canada. The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild redesigned the program in 2019 to continue the tradition of honouring Saskatchewan poets and the poetry community while adding the Youth Poet Laureate position and exciting new community engagement opportunities. The Poets Laureate are under the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty.
For additional Youth Poet Laureate program information click here
For more information, please contact:
Program Manager, Saskatchewan Writers' Guild