City of Surrey Names Inaugural Poet Laureate

Renée Sarojini Saklikar (Photo via Surrey Libraries)

Renée Sarojini Saklikar (Photo via Surrey Libraries)

Author Renée Sarojini Saklikar has been selected as the inaugural poet laureate for Surrey. 

Her book of poetry, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections, won the Canadian Authors Award for best book of Canadian poetry to be published in English and was a finalist for the BC Book prize Dorothy Livesay award. Saklikar is also the co-editor of the anthology The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them, which includes poetry performed during Lunch Poems at SFU, a poetry reading series that she helped to establish.

As Surrey's poet laureate, Saklikar will work to create a legacy program of poetry-outreach that is multi-lingual and inter-cultural, in partnership with local organizations in Surrey. She is interested in furthering grassroots connections with youth, senior, and community groups.

“A strong foundation of arts and culture is the hallmark of a thriving City,” said Mayor Linda Hepner in a release. ”As Surrey’s first Poet Laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar will creatively engage and connect with our community and will be a strong advocate for literacy and the literary arts.”

Surrey's poet laureate project is a two-year honorary position that receives an annual honorarium of $5,000, established by the City of Surrey, Surrey Libraries, Cultural Development Advisory Committee, Surrey Arts Services, Surrey International Writers’ Conference, Arts Council of Surrey, Creative Writing at Simon Fraser University, Semiahmoo Arts, Surrey Muse, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

As part of her duties as poet laureate, Saklikar will host free 45-minute writing consultations on poetry or prose on the second Friday of the month. Those interested may submit a maximum of 10 double-space paged. Registration is required at least one week prior to the consultation date. To book a writing consultation, email

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