Canada-based Nigerian poet, playwright, scriptwriter, and spoken word artist Titilope Sonuga has been named the new poet laureate by the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is the ninth person to be conferred this honor, succeeding Nisha Patel, the laureate for the past two years.
The role of the city’s poet laureate, first established in 2005, “is a mix of general ambassador for the literary arts, and being a performing documentarian of sorts, reflecting aspects of life in the city.”
Sonuga’s tenure, which takes effect from July 1, will last for two years. During this time, she plans, among other things to “bring a little tenderness and healing back into our lives.” For Sonuga who lives in Edmonton, this honors is special in more ways than one. She tells the Edmonton Journal: “A lot of my discovery around my work in the arts happened right here in the city, with high school teachers and people who encouraged me to work, and going to open mics and cafes that existed all over — so it feels very full circle.”
We are super pumped for Titilope Sonuga whose career we’ve closely followed and covered over the years. Read our interviews with her here, here, and here. Sonuga’s poetry is deeply moving and artfully crafted. The poem “The Girl Comes Back With Fire in Her Chest” and other poems can be found here.
Titlope’s award-winning poetry collections include Down to Earth (2011), Abscess (2014), and the Chibok-inspiredThis Is How We Disappear (2019). She has equally composed and released two spoken word albums, Mother Tongue (2011) and Swim (2019) and written three plays,The Six; an intergenerational exploration of womanhood, Naked; a one-woman play and Ada The Country, a musical. Recently, she welcomed a newborn daughter. She is currently working on a collaborative project called “Cathedral of Tenderness.”
Congratulations to Titilope Sonuga!