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The Position

Created in 2001 as part of the Parliament of Canada Act.

  • The Speakers of the Senate and House of Commons appoint the Poet following an open nomination process;
  • Chosen candidates are appointed for a two year term;
  • Appointments to the position alternate between French and English each term.

Process for Nomination

The nomination period for the 2025–2026 term will open in 2024.

If you have questions, please call 613-992-4793 or toll-free (Canada) 1-866-599-4999 or email

Role of the Poet Laureate

  • To write poetry, especially for use in Parliament on important occasions;
  • To sponsor poetry readings;
  • To advise the Parliamentary Librarian regarding the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich its cultural materials and
  • To perform other related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Commons, or the Parliamentary Librarian.*


Why does Canada have a Parliamentary Poet Laureate?

Many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States have appointed official poets laureate to help expand the understanding and appreciation for written poetry. Canada has also recognized this through the creation of this position.

How does one become the Poet Laureate?

Nominated candidates must meet eligibility and selection criteria. To ensure that Canada's official languages are equitably represented, the person selected alternates every two years between poets who work primarily in English and poets who work primarily in French. For the 2023-2024 term, the poet will be expected to work primarily in French. Literary artists working in oral traditions are also eligible. The Parliament of Canada recognizes the diversity of Canada’s literary scene and encourages the participation of poets from all communities.

Who chooses the Poet Laureate?

The Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Commons select the Poet Laureate from a list of nominees determined by the Selection Committee which includes:
- the Commissioner of Official Languages
- the Librarian and Archivist of Canada
- the Chair, Canada Council for the Arts and,
- the Parliamentary Librarian as chair

Is the Poet Laureate compensated for their work?

The Poet Laureate receives an annual stipend of $20,000 as well as a budget for travel, programming and administrative expenses.

Must the poet write in both official languages?

The Poet Laureate may create work in either official language, and the poetry may be translated or adapted into other languages.

Who owns the property rights of the work created by the Poet Laureate?

The intellectual property of all work published remains with the Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

To whom does the Poet Laureate report?

The Library of Parliament is the steward for the Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

*The Poet determines their specific activities within these parameters.