Meet Surrey's first poet laureate.
In the past, the words "Surrey" and "culture" were often put together as part of a joke at the city's expense. But Surrey's first poet laureate, Renée Sarojini Saklikar says she is determined to reveal Surrey's literary and poetic culture.
According to Surrey mayor Linda Hepner, the poet laureate position was created to "creatively engage and connect with our community and will be a strong advocate for literacy and the literary arts."
Life is full of shadow. And darkness and light exist together. And that is where poetry lives. As poet laureate, I go towards that.- Renée Sarojini Saklikar
Saklikar is trying to reach beyond traditional bounds of literary to get people involved in poetry. Apart from her official public appearances and events, she does writing consultations with aspiring writers and poets. She says she's also looking to create cultural opportunities in unlikely places. For example, she's looking to hold poetry workshops with prisoners at the Surrey Pretrial Centre.
Surrey, for me embodies Canada. There's this openness to this idea of, "how can we live better together?
Saklikar says that Surrey is a unique cultural environment.
Click the play button above to hear the full item.