Wayde Compton, who directs the Writer’s Studio as well as the Southbank Writer’s Program, is helping guide the search for Surrey’s first poet laureate. Compton, himself an author, will work with a team to evaluate applicants.
“I'm excited to be part of this search committee on behalf of SFU,” says Compton. “Through the Southbank Writer’s Program, we’ve been a part of the Surrey arts community since 2012. The Surrey poet laureate will raise both the visibility of the city of Surrey and poetry itself as a vital part of life in the Lower Mainland.”
SFU Continuing Studies has a history of connections to poet laureate office—Rachel Rose, chosen to be Vancouver’s poet laureate in 2014, was a mentor with The Writer’s Studio from 2008 to 2010. Evelyn Lau, a former Vancouver poet laureate, works with SFU Continuing Studies students as a manuscript consultant.
The poet laureate incumbent must live in Surrey or the Lower Mainland and have a significant body of writing. He or she will serve a two- or three-year term and act as an ambassador for arts and literacy in Surrey.