The Department of Culture
At the 2014 Barrie Arts Awards, the Department of Culture crowned the City's second Poet Laureate, Damian Lopes.
The Poet Laureate is a prestigious designation that is selected by a jury and awarded to a candidate that has published works, presented their works at public events or forums, and has been acknowledged for their literary creations by the local community. The Poet Laureate, or “the people’s poet”, acts as a champion for poetry, language, and the arts by raising its profile through public engagements and civic interactions. The Poet Laureate acts as a literary ambassador and works to educate and promote poetry and the literary arts in our city and serves for a four year term running concurrent to Council’s.
Damian Lopes has published poetry, experimental writing and fiction both across Canada and internationally. Born in Scotland he grew up in Toronto where he attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts as a music major. He began publishing in 1990 while studying English Literature at McGill University.
Damian is the author of three print books of poetry (ECW Press, Coach House Books and Mercury Press) and two online poetry-multimedia works. Damian has several novels in progress, they are The Mango Stone, Masala-Fried Sunfish, Surgeon’s Log and The Bharata.
His published poetry books are Clay Lamps and Fighter Kites, Sensory Deprivation, Towards the Quiet and A Handful of Grams: Goan Proverbs. A former micro-press publisher and editor at Coach House Books, Damian has served on arts grant juries for the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.
Damian has actively participated in many readings and cultural events in the community, as well, he was the founding Chairperson for the Barrie Arts and Culture Council.
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