Poet Alan Hill has been chosen as the new Poet Laureate for the City New Westminster. New Westminster’s Poet Laureate acts as a literary ambassador for the City of New Westminster and the community; advocating for literacy and the literary arts and helping to raise the status of poetry, language and the arts in the everyday consciousness of New Westminster residents. The Poet Laureate also develops meaningful engagement opportunities that enrich the lives of residents and visitors to the City.
Alan Hill is a resident of the Glenbrook North neighbourhood of New Westminster. He is co-manager of the Poetry New West reading series and has been a regular on the Vancouver reading circuit for over ten years. He has been published in North America and Europe in numerous print and online journals. Publishing highlights in Canada include having poetry included in Event, CV2, Canadian Literature, Vancouver Review, Antigonish Review, Sub-Terrain, Poetry is Dead, Quills and Cascadia Review. He has also published two collections of poetry, ‘The Upstairs Country’ (Silverbow 2012) and ‘The Broken Word’ (Silverbow 2013). In 2007 he featured in the ‘Rocksalt’ anthology (Mother Tongue), the first BC wide anthology of poetry for over thirty years. Alan immigrated to New Westminster from the UK after meeting, and being sponsored by, his Vietnamese-Canadian wife while working in Botswana.
New Westminster’s new Poet Laureate was appointed following a call for nominations and review by the Poet Laureate Selection Committee. Following recommendation to City Council, the appointment was approved at a Council meeting held on February 6, 2017.
Alan Hill is New Westminster’s fourth Poet Laureate. The City has had a Poet Laureate since the appointment of Edna Anderson in 1998. Don Benson served as the Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2006. Candice James served as the City's Poet Laureate from 2010 to 2016 and was recently named Poet Laureate Emerita.