The Poet Laureate is an honour bestowed to a St. John’s poet as a way of acknowledging all poets and poetry and the value of their contribution to civic life. Through the Poet Laureate we recognize poetry, and all art, as a fundamental and necessary component of civic society. The Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador for poetry and by doing so integrates poetry into a range of official and unofficial civic events. The Poet Laureate serves the same time frame as Council, which is a four-year term.
George Murray is the City's current Poet Laureate.
George Murray is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently: Diversion (ECW), Whiteout (ECW), Exit Strategy (Kilmog), The Rush to Here (Nightwood), and The Hunter (McCelland & Stewart). He has also published one book of aphorisms, Glimpse (ECW), and two books for children in the Wow Wow and Haw Haw series (Breakwater). His poetry and fiction has appeared in many journals, magazines, and anthologies in Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, and New Zealand and Australia, including: Granta, London Magazine, New American Writing, Mid-American Review, Iowa Review, Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, and Riddle Fence. His journalism and prose also has appeared in a wide range of mainstream magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, Reader's Digest, National Post, the Telegram, and many others. He is a former poetry editor of the Literary Review of Canada, and has been a contributing editor for several magazines, including Maisonneuve, Canadian Notes and Queries, and the Drunken Boat. George lives in St. John's with his wife and their four children.