Titilope Sonuga named Edmonton's next poet laureate

· The Pulse
By Fawnda Mithrush
in the Arts Roundup
Comments

Titilope Sonuga adds another title to her CV starting July 1, when she'll start her term as Edmonton's ninth poet laureate.

"I want to use my art as a tool for hope and healing, which our city needs as we begin the journey of recovering from the last couple of years," Songua said. "Poets in our city are world builders and magic makers."

Author of three poetry collections, Sonuga has written for Google, the World Health Organization, and the MacArthur Foundation. In 2015, she also performed at the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 35-year-old Nigerian-Canadian writer has credits as a playwright, actor, civil engineer, and community-builder in her bio. She's also founder of the Breath in Poetry collective, which has seen the poetry debuts of numerous local artists over the years, many of whom have made it to the slam finals at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

After getting the call from Mayor Don Iveson, Sonuga felt honoured to be asked to serve in the role, and said she will continue her efforts to create opportunities for aspiring poets in the community.

Titilope Sonuga was named Edmonton's ninth poet laureate earlier this week. Her term will run for two years, starting July 1. (Edmonton Arts Council)

Titilope Sonuga was named Edmonton's ninth poet laureate earlier this week. Her term will run for two years, starting July 1. (Edmonton Arts Council)

Outgoing Laureate Nisha Patel notes that seeing Sonuga in the role is exciting.

"Titilope is a treasure to this city and represents everything powerful about poetry," said Patel, pointing to Sonuga's "ability to tell stories with courage and heart, her impact on other artists, and her passion for excellence."

For a taste of what may be in store, take a look at the video production for Sonuga's poem 'Becoming'.