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Perfect Place for Poetic Inspiration

Poem Catcher

September 08, 2011

Poet Laureate Anna Marie Sewell is inviting Edmontonians to write about what Edmonton means to them in a Poem Catcher launched at City Hall on September 8.

Sewell based the idea for the Poem Catcher on the Dream Catcher, an important symbol in her own aboriginal (Anishnabe) culture.

“It’s perfect because, after all, a poem is like a dream,” said Sewell. “I’m asking people to give me their impressions of life here today, but also to dream about what it could be in the future. Here is a Poem Catcher, to use to gather our dreams – our visions of our City.”

“My job as Poet Laureate is to write poems that reflect what is important in the life of Edmonton,” said Sewell. “The Poem Catcher will help me make poetry that truly represents Edmonton.”

“I applaud Anna Marie for bringing the Poem Catcher to City Hall,” said Mayor Stephen Mandel who wrote a poem for the Poem Catcher. “This is a unique and beautiful way of welcoming Edmontonians to participate in the creative process by sharing their voice, ideas and experiences. I’m looking forward to hearing what Anna Marie creates from this project over the course of the next two years.”

The Poem Catcher display at City Hall includes a dream catcher woven by Sewell as well as a large book where people may write their submissions. Sewell will include recurring themes in her written work as Poet Laureate. She will also create an archive of entries from the Poem Catcher book.

Sewell is looking primarily for people’s ideas for the Poem Catcher, not completed poems – though she is thrilled when people are inspired to make their own poems.

Submissions to the Poem Catcher will be accepted until the end of Sewell’s two-year term as Poet Laureate in June 2013. Online submissions can be sent to EdmontonPoetLaureate@EPL.ca.

Sewell will give her first official reading to City Council on September 14, 2011.