Poet Laureate

Poet Laureate

Wali Shah is the City of Mississauga 2017 Poet Laureate. He will serve a two year term (2017-2019). This honorary position recognizes a poet who writes poetry or spoken word and has written on themes that are important to the citizens of Mississauga. The position holds four key objectives:

  • Become the City of Mississauga's literary ambassador both within and outside the City;
  • Promote poetry and literary arts within the City;
  • Raise the profile of writers in Mississauga; and
  • Create an artistic legacy through public readings and civic interactions.

About Wali Shah

As an alumni of Canada's Top 20 Under 20, Wali Shah is a South Asian spoken word poet & public speaker. His experiences range from being a TEDx speaker to performing poetry for 15,000 Microsoft Partners at the Air Canada Centre. Wali focuses on youth engagements and has conducted poetry workshops and keynote assemblies at hundreds of schools across Canada. His work has been featured in media outlets such as MTV, and The Toronto Star.

He is currently studying at the University of Toronto, and advocates for social change through his work. He has partnered with CrimeStoppers, Bell Let's Talk, and has helped in raising over one million dollars for United Way. He's even freestyled with Kendrick Lamar.

Youth Poet Laureate

The City of Mississauga is pleased to announce the new Youth Poet Laureate will be Pujita Verma. The role of the Youth Poet Laureate is to serve as a literary ambassador for youth in the City of Mississauga. Pujita will aim to elevate the status of poetry, literary arts and young writers through community youth poetry events and/or projects. The honorary position recognizes a young poet who writes excellent poetry or spoken word and has written on themes that are relevant to the citizens of Mississauga.

About Pujita Verma

Pujita Verma believes that poetry is a way in which we can cherish small miracles and keep moments alive forever. Her journey with poetry branches from an abiding interest in creative writing and the literary arts. When Pujita isn't writing or reciting, she's saving the planet, volunteering, or studying in her senior year in the IB Program at Glenforest Secondary School.

As Secretary for Ink Movement Mississauga, Pujita has volunteered for nearly two years to help make tools for self-expression more accessible for youth in the city. She has been a member of her school's Student Writer's Guild since 2014, performed at slams across the GTA, and is also a National Finalist for the 2018 Poetry In Voice Recitation Competition. Her work reflects mental well-being, life, the environment, and the miraculous nature of seemingly ordinary things. As the City of Mississauga's Youth Poet Laureate. Pujita strives to provide platforms through which youth can explore poetry, find their voices, and uncover their own creativity.

Contact Us
For more Information on the Poet Laureate Program Contact:
Kathryn Garland
Culture Division

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