A verse by inaugural poet laureate Naomi Beth Wakan will be installed outside the Port Theatre – the first stone in the city’s new poetry walk.

A verse by inaugural poet laureate Naomi Beth Wakan will be installed outside the Port Theatre – the first stone in the city’s new poetry walk.

Nanaimo lays first stone in new poetry walk

NANAIMO – Poetry walk to be installed this spring in front of Nanaimo's Port Theatre.

The City of Nanaimo is creating a poetry walk.

An excerpt from a poem by the inaugural poet laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan, will be set in a concrete slab and placed in front of the Port Theatre. A slab, with a poetry excerpt, will be added for each subsequent poet laureate for the City of Nanaimo.

“Right outside the Port Theatre we are going to start a Nanaimo poetry walk listing a poem that’s left behind from the poet laureate and Naomi’s poem will be the first one,” said Chris Barfoot, culture and heritage coordinator for the City of Nanaimo, Saturday during a celebration event honouring the end of Wakan’s three-year term. “It will be there forever for everyone to see.”

The City of Nanaimo plans to install Wakan’s poem in the spring.

“I’m so amazed they managed to keep it a secret. It’s so great,” said Wakan, who said she didn’t know anything about the poetry walk until the announcement. “It’s a lovely, lovely idea. I wish I had thought of it myself.”

Barfoot said the poetry walk is to highlight the success of the poet laureate position.

“Nanaimo’s poet laureate has become such an important role for the city, creating a voice and another way to celebrate arts and culture here,” said Barfoot in an e-mail. “With poetry having the beautiful ability to leave a lasting impression with words, a project such as placing poetry permanently into the sidewalk will create moments of outdoor reading to beautify our pedestrian experience and celebrating this position.”

Wakan was appointed the city’s first poet laureate in October 2013. She initiated numerous projects, such as Poetry in Transit, poems gracing Nanaimo buses, and created the Nanaimo Poetry Map and the High School Poetry Competition.

The City of Nanaimo is creating a poetry walk.

An excerpt from a poem by the inaugural poet laureate, Naomi Beth Wakan, will be set in a concrete slab and placed in front of the Port Theatre. A slab, with a poetry excerpt, will be added for each subsequent poet laureate for the City of Nanaimo.

“Right outside the Port Theatre we are going to start a Nanaimo poetry walk listing a poem that’s left behind from the poet laureate and Naomi’s poem will be the first one,” said Chris Barfoot, culture and heritage coordinator for the City of Nanaimo, Saturday during a celebration event honouring the end of Wakan’s three-year term. “It will be there forever for everyone to see.”

The City of Nanaimo plans to install Wakan’s poem in the spring.

“I’m so amazed they managed to keep it a secret. It’s so great,” said Wakan, who said she didn’t know anything about the poetry walk until the announcement. “It’s a lovely, lovely idea. I wish I had thought of it myself.”

Barfoot said the poetry walk is to highlight the success of the poet laureate position.

“Nanaimo’s poet laureate has become such an important role for the city, creating a voice and another way to celebrate arts and culture here,” said Barfoot in an e-mail. “With poetry having the beautiful ability to leave a lasting impression with words, a project such as placing poetry permanently into the sidewalk will create moments of outdoor reading to beautify our pedestrian experience and celebrating this position.”

Wakan was appointed the city’s first poet laureate in October 2013. She initiated numerous projects, such as Poetry in Transit, poems gracing Nanaimo buses, and created the Nanaimo Poetry Map and the High School Poetry Competition.