The City of Charlottetown will participate in the Canada-wide Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge at tonight’s Council meeting (April 11) to celebrate National Poetry Month.
The Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge encourages municipal councils across Canada to take a few minutes at the beginning of their Council meetings to recognize the poets in their communities and the contribution of poetry to the arts in Canada. This initiative was created by Regina Mayor Michael Fougere in 2012. This year, the challenge was issued by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
In Charlottetown, PEI Poet Laureate Deirdre Kessler will read "I am the road" from her collection titled "Afternoon Horses" at the Council meeting on Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. The poem is a history of Prince Edward Island told from the point of view of one of our old red-clay roads.
"Deirdre Kessler is a beloved local author and we’re pleased she’s agreed to join us for our Council meeting to assist us in participating in this national initiative," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "Participating in this Challenge provides us with an opportunity to publically demonstrate our continued support for local artists while also providing a platform for poets in our community to share their talents and passion for the art at the municipal level."
"I'm thrilled to be part of the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge and to read a poem about our Island for the City Councillors and the Mayor," Kessler said. "Poetry reminds us to take a deep breath and be happy to be alive."
Kessler is an author of 17 books for young people, including recently published "Born! A foal, five kittens, and Confederation," "Dreamtime," and the award-winning "Brupp Rides Again" and "Lobster in My Pocket."
Kessler is also a poet and teaches creative writing, children’s literature, and a course on L.M. Montgomery with the English department at the University of Prince Edward Island. In January 2016, she was appointed Poet Laureate of PEI.
City of Charlottetown