Nellie McClung’s home in Calgary …

In 1924 Nellie McClung, now nationally famous as a member of “The Famous Five,” moved to Calgary where she would reside until 1933. Her political import needs little explanation or review as she is renowned for the impact of the Persons Case in Canada. She published her first novel Sowing Seeds in Danny in 1908 which was followed by 7 more novels, a collection of short stories and 8 volumes of non-fiction by 1945. Her home — at 803 – 15 Ave SW, Calgary, — is a historic site and currently the Columbia Consulate.Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 8.31.39 PM.png


introductions …

To celebrate National Poetry Month and UNESCO World Poetry Day, each year municipalities across Canada are challenged to bring poetry into politics. One mayor leads this annual challenge by inviting a poet to read at a council meeting in March or April, and challenges mayors and councils across the nation to follow suit and join the celebration. Initiated by Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco in 2012, the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge celebrates poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers to the rich cultural life in our country. Last year the torch was passed from Regina to Calgary, and Mayor Nenshi’s first challenge was a huge success. With over seventy participants, the 2015 challenge was our largest yet—but we hope for even more in 2016!

As Calgary’s Poet Laureate, I have a challenge for writers and readers across Canada.

I ask that writers and readers across Canada explore how literature has reflected and created their own communities … find spaces of literary importance (homes where writers once lived, areas authors have written about, moments of historic literary import, etc), photograph those spaces and post on twitter with a brief description and the hashtag #writtenrighthere

Help document how Canadian literature reflects and affects how we understand our communities and our place.

It could be an intersection or park named in a book, it could be a mountain range celebrated in a poem, it could be the former home of a beloved poet or the location of a Canadian press; it could be a park named after your favourite literary figure or a surprising connection with how Canadian literature has developed just down the street …

How have the spaces of your community shaped (or been shaped by) literature? Where do you see the spaces that have created Canadian Literature in your community?

#writtenrighthere celebrates literary history … and how writing comes from community.