RACHEL STERN / The News Bulletin                                 Naomi Beth Wakan unveiled her poem on the City of Nanaimo’s Poetry Walk March 23 during an official ceremony.
Bad Video Embed Code

RACHEL STERN / The News Bulletin Naomi Beth Wakan unveiled her poem on the City of Nanaimo’s Poetry Walk March 23 during an official ceremony.

First stone laid for Nanaimo’s Poetry Walk

Inaugural poet laueate Naomi Beth Wakan honoured with first poem on Nanaimo’s Poetry Walk

A poem now graces a Nanaimo street.

The City of Nanaimo unveiled the first stone in its Poetry Walk during an official ceremony March 23 in front of the Port Theatre. The stone features a poem by Nanaimo’s inaugural poet laureate Naomi Beth Wakan.

“It’s quite an exciting idea that Chris Barfoot had from culture and heritage and a big surprise to me,” said Wakan. “It’s the kind of idea I would have thought of myself if I had been a little bit more daring.”

At the end of the poet laureate’s term, a new poem will be added to the Poetry Walk, which Wakan said she thinks is a “lovely idea.”

“Poetry, I must admit, is not the first thought for most residents of Nanaimo. There are more pressing problems, but I do think over the three years and certainly with things Tina (Biello) has in mind, they are going to open people’s ears and eyes to the real beauty and the real purpose of poetry, which gives thoughts and emotions that are allowed to be expressed in a condensed form,” said Wakan.

Biello is Nanaimo’s current poet laureate.

Wakan’s poem is a tanka, a Japanese poem, with just five lines. She created the poem after hearing that she was named the City of Nanaimo’s inaugural poet laureate.

“The poem does show my shift of mind that I would have to be committed for the next three years,” she said.

Chris Barfoot, culture and heritage coordinator for the City of Nanaimo, said that as the Poetry Walk continues to grow it will reinforce the idea that Nanaimo is a cultural capital and people’s understanding and belief of the importance of culture in the community and a sense of pride.

“The unveiling of the Poetry Walk signifies the success of our poet laureate program and the wonderful work that Naomi has done and her impact in the community,” said Barfoot, adding that the culture and heritage department is looking forward to adding many more installments from future poet laureates.

The Poetry Walk highlights “Nanaimo’s support for poetry and the literary arts and also reinforces the success of the poet laureate program,” according to a City of Nanaimo press release. The poet laureate program began in 2014.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Capt. Bryun Ashlie, left, and Lieut. Stu Kenning, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, tackle fires burning in two shopping carts in St. George Ravine Park, Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which destroyed both carts and their contents, is undetermined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Shopping carts found burning in Nanaimo park

Firefighters douse flaming carts and contents on asphalt pathway

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a motorcyclist who refused to stop for police near the Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road intersection on April 10. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek ‘stunting’ motorcyclist, who fled from police

Rider spotted near intersection of Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road April 10

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on the property

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
Nanaimo sees fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Nanaimo from April 11-17

Island Health has issued an overdose advisory for Nanaimo. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overdose advisory issued for Nanaimo

Island Health warns of ‘toxic drug supply’ in Nanaimo, Victoria, the Comox Valley and Campbell River

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read