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.

Rebecca smiling with a teal background.

Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate

The City of Mississauga recognized its first Youth Poet Laureate on Wednesday April 6, 2016. The role of the Youth Poet Laureate is to serve as a literary ambassador for youth in the City of Mississauga. Rebecca will aim to elevate the status of poetry, literary arts and young writers through the development of a community youth poetry event or project. 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 Rebecca Zseder

Rebecca Zseder is a second year student at the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus. She is currently enrolled in the English Specialist Program. She has been a member of her school's Improvisational Acting Team since 2013 and has competed at the National Level three times, bringing home gold in 2013 and bronze in 2016. Her passion for poetry, stemming from her passion for public speaking which won her the Regional title in 2012, was discovered in early Grade 9. She began her poetic endeavours with the work of William Shakespeare. This interest blossomed into spoken word poetry when joined with her love of free speech for the public ear. Her poetry is often centered around everyday life, strife, and social issues in need of attention. Her goal is to inspire youth, like herself, to discover art in poetry. In 2016 Rebecca was named The City Of Mississauga's Inagural Youth Poet Laureate.

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

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The City of Mississauga will recognize its second Youth Poet Laureate in 2018. This role serves as a literary ambassador for youth in the city and elevates the status of poetry, literary arts and young writers.

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