Past poets laureate: Dianne Hicks Morrow

Dianne Hicks Morrow was appointed Poet Laureate in January 2013, serving until January 2016.

Poetry

The Devil Sends

The truck dumps topsoil on the grass
at the end of our long clay lane,
the place the west wind burns by August.
Barefoot I jump in the loamy earth,
decide to make a rock garden.
My husband wheelbarrows huge
foundation stones to circle the base.
Our sons bring bricks from the torn-down
chimney. One builds steps to the top for fun
facing north, away from the house.
l ask him to make more on the south side
to see from the kitchen window.
Don’t know until too late
l’ve turned play into work.

Granddad gives a wrought iron Sundial for the top
“Gonna be some job to keep the weeds out of this.”
For the first years we call it the Shinto
shrine. Nasturtiums border brick stairs.
Dainty carpathian harebells thrive
a while. Hardy rock garden perennials gray
then die. Even sturdy sedum. The herb
quadrant goes wild. Dill disappears.
God steps in, gives wild strawberries.
Next, buttercups, Queen Anne’s
lace, asters, and goldenrod.
Then the Devil sends the sod
that finally takes over.
Our sons have left home.
Only the forget-me-nots bloom now.

Audio

Events (and photos)

Press release on appointment

Charlottetown, 31 January 2013:

Dianne Hicks Morrow has been named the new Poet Laureate for Prince Edward Island, says Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson. Ms. Hicks Morrow will succeed Hugh MacDonald who has completed his three-year term in the post.

“Dianne Hicks Morrow will continue the tradition of excellence established by previous Poets Laureate on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Henderson. “I am particularly impressed with her experiences as an adult educator, and as the former director of both the PEI Literacy Alliance and the Montgomery Institute at UPEI. I see those experiences as an ideal complement to her many successes in writing.”

In making the announcement, Minister Henderson also thanked outgoing Poet Laureate Hugh MacDonald who has been particularly active and has participated in readings and writing activities across the province.

The Island’s fifth Poet Laureate is an award-winning poet who has lived in the province for more than forty years. Her latest book of poetry, “What Really Happened Is This: A Poetry Memoir,” won a 2012 PEI Book Award. Her other books include her first book of poetry, “Long Reach Home” (2002) and the non-fiction “Kindred Spirits: Relationships that Spark the Soul” (2005). Ms. Hicks Morrow has given readings and workshops across Canada, as well as in Tasmania, Australia, where she was writer-in-residence last April. Her mentoring and encouragement of new writers, whether one-to-one, in schools, or through her Seniors College “Writing from Life” Course, has inspired the production of much new poetry on the Island. A past president of the PEI Writers Guild, Ms. Hicks Morrow was presented the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island in 2008.

“In my new role, I plan to build on the excellent work already done by my predecessors,” said Ms. Hicks Morrow. “I believe that a poem can be about anything, and that anyone can write a poem, so I enjoy proving that in workshops and readings. And as a long-time community developer, I look forward to hearing what the Island community wants me to do.”

The post of Poet Laureate, which was established in 2002, is a largely honourary position created to recognize long-term contributions to the literary arts in the province. The role of the Poet Laureate is to make Islanders aware of the important role that poetry plays in the literary life of the province and to serve as a cultural ambassador. Activities of previous Poets Laureate have included public readings and workshops, the development of a poetry website, as well activities such as “random acts of poetry.”

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