Meet Victoria’s New Poet Laureate
Janet Marie Rogers was announced as Victoria’s new Poet Laureate at a Victoria City Council meeting on Thursday, January 19, 2012. Selected by nomination, the Poet Laureate serves as Victoria’s literary and cultural ambassador for a three-year term.
A Mohawk writer from the Six Nations band in southern Ontario, Janet Rogers was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and has resided in Victoria since 1994. A published and award-winning poet, she has worked and studied in the genres of poetry, short fiction, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poems with music and scriptwriting.
Janet Rogers hosts Native Waves Radio on CFUV 101.9fm and Tribal Clefs every Tuesday on CBC Radio One. Her video poem What Did You Do Boy, created in support of a spoken word track from her CD Firewater, earned nominations at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards 2009 and the Native American Music Awards 2010. Rogers’ radio documentary Bring Your Drum (50 Years of Indigenous Protest Music), aired in July 2011 on CBC’s Inside the Music and won the Best Radio award at the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival 2011. Her newest poetry collection is titled Unearthed.
As Victoria’s third Poet Laureate, Janet Rogers looks forward to creating opportunities where the community can come together in celebration of our poetic voices on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people. Her three-year term ends November 30, 2014.
2012 01 31
Today I hear a Mohawk woman poet
is appointed as Poet Laureate
in lush fertile land of Soih Temexw,
where Raven brings fire to wandering man.
Before paper and pen came, poets danced
in forests and on plains and beside lakes
across mountains from sea to shining sea,
chanting stories of their experience
exploring this sphere of water and soil,
and though their bodies are now silent dust,
their spirits are rays of light on tree leaves,
and their lost voices are whispers in wind.
Poem written by Surazeus Simon Seamount in honor of Janet Marie Rogers on the occasion of her selection as the Third Poet Laureate of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.