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December 13, 2006
For immediate release

Poet Laureate Term Extended to Three Years

Community and Cultural Affairs

Hon. Elmer MacFadyen, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs today announced that the term of Poet Laureate for Prince Edward Island will be extended to three years.

Minister MacFadyen said this decision followed discussions with both the current Poet Laureate, Frank Ledwell, and the past Poet Laureate, John Smith, and with members of the panel responsible for appointing the Poet Laureate.

“We heard that the two-year term was not adequate time for all of the work the Poet Laureates wanted to do,” said the Minister. “A three-year term will allow appointees more time to set up and complete projects, to work with writing and literacy groups and, above all, to write.”

The Minister also announced that current Poet Laureate, Frank Ledwell, has agreed to serve for a third year in the role. “His energy, enthusiasm and leadership have been an inspiration to the writers of the province, both young and old, and we look forward to having him continue in this role for another year,” said Minister MacFadyen.

To mark his term as Poet Laureate, Professor Ledwell has published a new collection of work titled “The Taste of Water” which will be launched at 7 p.m. on Friday December 15 at Beaconsfield Carriage House in Charlottetown.


The Poet Laureate Program was established in 2002 to honour individuals who have made a major contribution to the literary life of the province. Prince Edward Island's first Poet Laureate, John Smith, was appointed in December 2002. Frank Ledwell was appointed to the post in December 2004.

Objectives of the P.E.I. Poet Laureate Program:

• To celebrate Prince Edward Island and its people;

• To raise the profile of Prince Edward Island poets;

• To promote a higher standard of literacy;

• To raise public awareness of poetry and of the spoken word;

• To create a spokesperson for literature in general and poetry in particular; and

• To provide a focal point for the expression of Prince Edward Island culture and heritage through the literary arts.

Duties of the Poet Laureate:

• The Poet Laureate shall undertake such activities to promote the objectives of the office as may be appropriate, including, but not limited to, composing poetry related to legislative or state occasions and events of significance, visiting schools, presenting or arranging poetry readings and assisting with writing workshops or other activities.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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