Georgette LeBlanc named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate

Georgette LeBlanc, from ​Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate.

'I look forward to continuing to write and to inspire poetry in all its forms over the next two years'

Georgette LeBlanc, who holds a doctorate in francophone studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says she is looking forward to inspiring poetry over her two-year term. (lop.parl.ca)

Georgette LeBlanc, from ​Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., has been named Canada's new parliamentary poet laureate. 

LeBlanc, who grew up in Baie Sainte-Marie, N.S., becomes the eighth poet to hold the position, after George Elliott Clarke's two-year term ended Dec. 31, 2017.

"What a delight it is to accept this appointment as parliamentary poet laureate! It is a true honour," LeBlanc said in a statement.

"I look forward to continuing to write and to inspire poetry in all its forms over the next two years, as well as celebrating and promoting poetic language, this individual form of expression that enchants and regenerates the four corners of this new world."

A finalist for the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry, LeBlanc has also written for theatre, television and musical projects. 

She was appointed by the Speaker of the Senate, George Furey and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan, on the recommendation of a selection committee. 

"LeBlanc's narrative poetry is widely recognized for highlighting the richness of written and spoken Acadian French. She has played a key role in making poetry known to a new generation of readers and authors," Regan said in a statement. 

Furey described her as a "rising star in the Canadian poetry community."

"She is a truly gifted storyteller and I am confident she will bring a new voice and dynamism to the role of Parliamentary Poet Laureate," Furey said. 

The position of parliamentary poet laureate was created in 2001 in an attempt to draw attention to the reading and writing of poetry in Canada. 

Those holding the position are required to write poetry that can be used on special state occasions and sponsored poetry readings. Poets are also expected to advise the parliamentary librarian on the library's cultural collection.