Poet Laureate Nominations

The Position

Created in 2001 as part of the Parliament of Canada Act.

  • The Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons appoint the Poet following an open nomination process;
  • Chosen candidates are appointed for a two year term;
  • Appointments to the position alternate between French and English each term.


To encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society;
To draw Canadians’ attention to poetry, both spoken and written, and its role in our lives.

Role of the Poet Laureate

  • To write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions;
  • To Sponsor poetry readings;
  • To advise the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich its cultural materials and
  • To perform other related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian.



  • In order to give equal representation to Canada’s two official languages, Poets Laureate are selected alternately from each official language community. For the 2018-2019 term, a francophone poet will be selected.
  • Candidates must be residents of Canada.

Criteria for Selection

Candidates must:

  • Have made significant contributions to the literary community;
  • Have a substantial record demonstrating literary excellence;
  • Be available to travel throughout Canada to promote the value of poetry; and
  • Be available to participate in parliamentary events, as required.

Process for Nomination

Please submit nominations by completing the nomination form and send to:

Poet Laureate Selection Committee
Library of Parliament
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A9

The nominator must inform the nominee of the submission.

If you have questions, please call 613-992-4793 or toll-free (Canada) 1-866-599-4999 or email info@parl.gc.ca