Chloé LaDuchesse named Sudbury's fifth poet laureate

The city of Greater Sudbury announced its fifth poet laureate Thursday night. Chloé LaDuchesse will hold the term for the next two years.
Chloé laDuchesse is Greater Sudbury's 5th poet laureate. She will spend the next two years promoting literature and providing guidance to aspiring poets and writers. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

When Chloé LaDuchesse was in university in Montreal, she bonded with fellow classmates over what she calls 'terrible' classes.

It was from those new friends — who happened to be reading poetry — that she gained a fondness for that type of literature.

"Just hanging out with them made me read a lot of poetry," LaDuchesse recalls.

LaDuchesse, a book publisher, critic and writer is now the new poet laureate for Sudbury.

During the two-year term, a poet laureate is responsible for promoting literature, and arts and culture in the community. The laureate must also contribute to the cultural and literary community.

LaDuchesse says she wants to heighten the profile of Francophone culture and encourage greater collaboration between French and English artists.

She is the fifth poet laureate to hold the title and takes over from Kim Fahner.

All four of the previous poet laureates have offered to help and support LaDuchesse during her tenure, but it was advice from Fahner which LaDuchesse says helped her most.

"As a woman sometimes I don't feel taken seriously, especially since I'm young. I talked about it to Kim she said 'you just have to be there and take your space and the people will have to respect you.'"

LaDuchesse says she hopes aspiring writers will connect with her.

Starting in mid March she will host a radio show on CKLU, every Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. LaDuchesse says people can read their work on-air or works from people they admire.

She will also be hold monthly meeting at the library so aspiring poets and writers can get her to look over their work and provide feedback.

"Everything comes with practice so if you want to write you have to write. Don't say when I'm retired I'm going to write. No, do it now."

LaDuchesse is also a Zine-artist and wants more people to learn about the zine culture and to learn how to create them. Zines can be described as self-published or online magazines featuring local writers.

"Together we can make lots of really great things. If we just take the time to listen to each other, and to communicate how we feel, we would be less stressed, we would be happier. I just feel it's a general feeling that poetry can carry, this hope."

About the Author

Angela Gemmill

Journalist

Angela Gemmill is a CBC journalist who has covered news in Sudbury, Ont., for more than a dozen years. Connect with her on Twitter @AngelaGemmill. Send story ideas to angela.gemmill@cbc.ca