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Poet Laureate of Ontario

Job posting

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario is seeking nominees to fill the role of Poet Laureate of Ontario. Created in 2019 and named in memory of the late Gord Downie, this appointment is subject to the Poet Laureate of Ontario Act ↗.


Ontario's Poet Laureate will be appointed for a two-year term as an Officer of the Legislative Assembly.


As Poet Laureate, your role will be to:

  • Promote art and literacy in Ontario.

  • Celebrate Ontario and its people.

  • Raise the profile of Ontario poets.

  • Raise public awareness of poetry and the spoken word.

  • Act as a spokesperson for literature in general, and poetry in particular.

  • Provide a focal point for the expression of Ontario culture and heritage through the literary arts.


What you will do

You'll act with integrity to:

  • Write poetry, occasionally for use in the Legislature, if called upon by the Speaker or the Lieutenant Governor.

  • Engage in public outreach, visiting schools and community groups across the province, to present or arrange poetry readings, writing workshops or other activities.

  • Advise the Legislative Library on its collection and acquisitions for its cultural holdings.

  • Perform other duties as may be requested by the Speaker, the Lieutenant Governor or the Legislative Library.


How you will qualify

To be eligible for consideration, you must:

  • Have a primary residence in Ontario and have resided in the province for a period of at least six months during the 12 months preceding the selection.

  • Have published at least one volume of poetry within the ten years, or have demonstrated that your body of work in the field of poetry has brought honour to yourself and to Ontario.

  • Have your nomination supported by at least two colleagues in the literary field.

  • Have the ability to travel throughout the province to promote literary events and participate in Legislative events.


Applicants are encouraged to review Duties and nomination for more information.


Anyone can make a nomination. Nominators may be MPPs, members of the public, or members of the arts and literary community. Individuals may nominate themselves, as long as they have letters from two colleagues in the literary field who support the nomination.

Standard information is required for each nominee to ensure a proper evaluation and review of each nomination. Please submit a nomination package containing the following:


  • Nominee's personal information (name, address, pronouns, language preference(s), etc.).

  • Nominator's personal information (name, address, etc.).

  • Letter of nomination briefly describing the nominee's significant contributions to the arts and literary community, why they should be considered a nominee for Poet Laureate, and how they have influenced or had an impact on the work of other literary artists or on the Province of Ontario.

  • Nominee's biography or CV, including such information as education, significant achievements, publications, professional activities, awards or honours.

  • A minimum of two examples of the nominee’s work. These may be print publication or in electronic, audio or video format. 

    • If published in print only, one copy of the publication must be submitted when requested.

    • If published in electronic/video/audio format, either a link or one copy must be submitted.


To apply, please submit your complete nomination package to


A selection panel will review nominations and may interview all shortlisted candidates.


Honorarium: $20,000 per annum, plus travel and administrative allowance

File no: 2023-POET

Closing Date: January 15, 2024

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