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Anna Marie Sewell Named as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate

Anna Marie Sewell

June 29, 2011

"A wonderful laureate, eager to share the power of words"

Anna Marie Sewell can add Poet Laureate to her impressive list of artistic accomplishments. The writer of poetry, theatre, stories and songs becomes the City of Edmonton’s fourth Poet Laureate on July 1, 2011.

“I’m thrilled by this opportunity, and look forward to two exciting years,” said Sewell. “I hope my voice and vision can be put to good use celebrating who we are as a city, and who we dream to be.”

Sewell has been active on Edmonton’s poetry scene for 20 years. She is a founding member of the Stroll of Poets Society which promotes poetry in Edmonton through performances and festivals. She co-coordinated the Honour Songs project for Edmonton’s Cultural Capital year and has a recurring gig as the “Bike-nik Poet” at the city’s Bikeology festival.

Sewell’s 2009 book of poetry Fifth World Drum won critical acclaim. She is also an instructor for The Learning Centre Literacy Association.

“We are pleased to welcome Anna Marie as our next Poet Laureate,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel. “She brings to the role a profound ability to blend wisdom and playfulness into poetry that is both beautiful and accessible. Her work is varied and rich, with strong roots in our community. I know Anna Marie will be a great ambassador from Edmonton to the world.”

“Anna Marie will be a wonderful laureate, eager to share the power of words,” said Pamela Anthony, Director of the Winter Light Festival, in nominating Sewell. “She wields unusual skill in casting the spell of language, sending the reader to explore new places. She will reflect Edmonton’s character in a beautiful and meaningful way.”

Born in Fredericton, NB, Sewell is of Mi’gmaq/Anishnabe/Polish heritage. She has lived in Edmonton since 1985, moving here from Alberta’s Peace Country.

"The Library and Anna Marie have worked closely together in the past,” said Pilar Martinez, Executive Director of Public Services, Edmonton Public Library. “We are excited by the opportunity to continue our collaborative relationship.”

Edmonton’s Poet Laureate program is supported by The City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Arts Council and the Edmonton Public Library.

Sewell will serve a two-year term as Edmonton’s Poet Laureate. Roland Pemberton’s term as Poet Laureate ends on June 30, 2011.


Alison Turner

Title Communications Director, Edmonton Arts Council

780-424-2787 ext. 224
780-938-8449 (cell)