MRU prof, playwright Natalie Meisner named new Calgary Poet Laureate

Poet, playwright and Mount Royal University instructor Natalie Meisner has been named Calgary Poet Laureate.
The announcement was made Monday at a city council meeting, which also found Mayor Naheed Nenshi issuing the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge.

Meisner will hold the two-year position until 2022 and replaces Sheri-D Wilson. The program has been running since 2012, when local songwriter Kris Demeanor was appointed Calgary’s first poet laureate. He was followed by derek beaulieu, who served from 2014 to 2016, Micheline Maylor from 2016 to 2018, and Wilson from 2018 to 2020.

The position, which comes with a $10,000 per year honorarium, will require Meisner to serve as an “artistic ambassador for the citizens of Calgary.” That could include composing and presenting poetry for City of Calgary occasions and raising awareness of local issues through commissioned works.

On Monday, Meisner appeared virtually at the council meeting to read from her work.

She grew up in the South Shore of Nova Scotia and has lived in Calgary for the past 20 years. Her most recent book of poetry is Baddie One Shoe — a series of performance poems that a recent article from Mount Royal University described as “an ode to all the tough, bold and brash women out there who are unafraid of consequences and unwilling to accept the status quo.” Meisner also wrote the non-fiction book Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family and the children’s book, My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother & Me.

She is professor in the Department of English, Languages and Cultures at Mount Royal and penned a number of stage plays, including Boom Baby and Speed Dating for Sperm Donors.

Know more: