The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is delighted to announce that Carol Rose GoldenEagle will be the 9th Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan and Warsha Mustaq will be the 3rd Youth Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan. GoldenEagle’s term will begin August 1, 2021, and run until July 31, 2023. Mushtaq’s will begin Aug 1 2021 and continue until July 31, 2022.
The Saskatchewan Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate celebrate Saskatchewan—its people, spirit, and land—through the literary arts, and act as ambassadors and champions of poetry and writing. Their commitment to writing, passion for poetry, and community engagement through their positions will raise awareness of the power of poetry and engage all residents in the written and spoken word.
The 9th Saskatchewan Poet Laureate, Carol Rose GoldenEagle, is an award-winning novelist, poet, and journalist with over 30 years experience of bringing stories to life. She has been a mentor, artist-in-residence, workshop facilitator and featured storyteller. In 2017 GoldenEagle’s book Bearskin Diary (2017) was chosen as the national title for the Aboriginal Literature Award, and shortlisted for three Saskatchewan Book Awards. The French language translation of this novel, entitled Peau D’ours won a 2019 Saskatchewan Book Award, the Prix du Livre Français. Her first poetry book, Hiraeth (2019), was shortlisted for the 2019 Saskatchewan Book Awards, and Narrows of Fear (2020) was a 2021 Saskatchewan Book Awards winner. Her other works include Bone Black (2019), and Essential Ingredients, which will be released by Iananna Publications in 2021. Her works touch on topics from parenthood to Indigenous teachings and culture. Regarding her words, GoldenEagle says, “What we write may be the very medicine that someone else needs. I encourage those who embrace the written word to not censor their thoughts and feelings, and experiences. It is a purging of truth and wisdom, often in the form of poetry which can be ingested and shared by those who read and thereby experience and remember.”
The Poet Laureate selection committee noted GoldenEagle has a “long history of interacting with students, from K to 12, who are eager to learn more about reconciliation, how to honour our past with respect to Canadian history, and how to move forward. Connecting through culture, learning about history and understanding is one way to strengthen a collective community. Writing is a part of this.” They say they “are moved by her energy, passion, and the import of her work. She will be a tremendous ambassador.”
The 3rd Youth Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan, Warsha Mushtaq, is a first-year student at the University of Saskatchewan, and a poet, environmentalist and amateur astronomer. She has been part of the Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, a former Editor-in-Chief of The Muse, and a participant in SWG workshops. As well, Mushtaq is an avid climate activist and community leader. Mustaq says, “Through my writing, I hope to journey deeply into the natural world—where questions of what it means to be human, to be animal, to be plant or fungi, to be celestial body, to be other and to be art are tangibly in the air.” For Mushtaq, poetry and nature are a source of healing.
The selection committee noted that Mushtaq “believes great poetry and science is visionary, capable of opening our eyes to the complexity and beauty of the world. Beauty is evident in every aspect of her application. Recipient of the University of Saskatchewan's Best and Brightest Scholarship, awarded on the basis of character, leadership, and community service, her incredible commitment to social justice, climate justice, and regenerative initiatives on a local, national and international level is matched by her involvement in the writing community and the deep attention to language in her wonderfully accomplished and engaging poems. Our eyes opened wide with excitement and hope. Yours will too.”
Previous Poets Laureate include Glen Sorestad (2000-2004), Louise B. Halfe (2005-2006), Robert Currie (2007-2010), Donald Kerr (2010-2012), Judith Krause (2013-2015), Gerald Hill (2016), Brenda Schmidt (2017-2018) and Bruce Rice (2019-2021). Previous Youth Poets Laureate include Alasdair Rees (2019-2020) and Peace Akintade (2020-2021).
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 Poet Laureate program information: https://skwriter.com/programs-and-services/poet-laureate-program
A video interview with Carol:
A video interview with Warsha:
For more information or to request interviews with our Poets, please contact:
Program Manager, Saskatchewan Writers' Guild
306-791-7743 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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