Crafting a voice for Tofino!
The Tofino Poet Laureate acts as an ambassador of literacy, writing poetry that celebrates, commemorates and comments on significant events and issues in the community.
Apply To Become Tofino's Next Poet Laureate
Are you drawn to the beauty and depth of language? Do you possess a creative flair for storytelling through poetry? Tofino is seeking its next Poet Laureate, inviting applications from talented wordsmiths.
Term: May 2024- April 2026
Honorarium: $5000 per year
Application Deadline: March 15, 2024 @ 4:00 PM
For full details including the Scope of Service and How to Apply, click here.
Complete application can be sent to ac.onifot@bibahk or dropped off at the District of Tofino Municipal Office, Attention: Tofino Poet Laureate.
The District of Tofino and the Tofino Poet Laureate Working Group thank all applicants, but only those short-listed will be contacted.
Current Poet Laureate
Heather Hendry 2022 - 2024
Heather Hendry is an emerging poet who has lived in Tofino, BC for 5 years, on the unceded traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. She is a passionate school teacher and has worked at Wickaninnish Community School in roles ranging from kindergarten, Indigenous support, to grade 6/7.
This year she is making the move to Ucluelet Secondary School where she will join the Indigenous Support team. She shares her passion for writing with her students through her after-school creative writing club, which she has offered for the last 3 years.
A member of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and an associate member of the Canadian League of Poets, Heather is the author of her debut collection Handmade Binoculars. Her work has appeared in Sea & Cedar Magazine, Van Isle Poetry Collection and League of Canadian Poets Poetry Pause. Heather is also an active member of the Clayoquot Writers Group, which has been an immense support in her writing journey.
Past Poet Laureates
Christine Lowther 2020 - 2022
Christine Lowther has gratefully resided in ƛaʔuukwiiʔatḥ ha’huulthii since 1992. She is the editor of Worth More Standing: Poets and Activists Pay Homage to Trees and its youth companion volume, Worth More Growing. She is the author of four poetry collections: Hazard, Home; My Nature; Half-Blood Poems; New Power. Her work has been published in literary magazines, on public transit, and in anthologies including Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. In 2014 the Pacific Rim Arts Society presented Christine with their inaugural Rainy Coast Award for Significant Accomplishment. Her memoir, Born Out of This, was shortlisted for the 2015 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. She won the Federation of British Columbia Writers’ 2015 Nonfiction Prize and was shortlisted for the 2023 CBC Nonfiction Prize. Christine works for Vancouver Island Regional Library: Tofino branch and at Tofino General Hospital.
Joanna Streetly 2018 - 2020
Joanna Streetly is the inaugural Tofino Poet Laureate. She grew up in Trinidad and moved to Vancouver to study Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Leadership. A deep love of sea kayaking and the ocean brought her to the coast and she has lived here since 1990.
Joanna’s most recent book, Wild Fierce Life: Dangerous Moments on the Outer Coast, is a BC Bestseller published by Caitlin Press. Other titles include Paddling Through Time (Raincoast Books) and Silent Inlet (Oolichan) as well as This Dark (poetry, Postelsia). She has worked as a sea kayak and whale watch guide and in the nineties, she co-edited The Sound Magazine. You may also find her working weekends at the Tofino General Hospital.