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October 30, 2002
Toronto's Poet Laureate continues to entertain audiences
  
Culture - Dennis Lee, Toronto's first-ever Poet Laureate, joined Councillor
David Soknacki at City Hall today to celebrate his successes and share his
experiences from the past year-and-a-half since becoming Toronto's literary
ambassador.

"Dennis has taken on his role as Poet Laureate with great enthusiasm and
commitment," said Councillor David Soknacki (Ward 43, Scarborough East). "His
accomplishments in promoting poetry and literacy have been felt across the
city. Toronto has gained a true champion of the arts."

Since his appointment as Poet Laureate in April 2001, Lee has enjoyed a busy
schedule. From readings and speaking engagements to workshops and awards, Lee
has inspired the young and the young at heart throughout the city.

The Toronto Public Library proclaimed September 12, 2001 as Dennis Lee Day with
day-long events and several scheduled readings by the guest of honour. Lee gave
a creative writing workshop to high school students in conjunction with the
library's publication "Young Voices." He also announced the winner of the
annual Toronto Book Awards at the 2001 Word on the Street and gave an afternoon
of lively reading to a large audience of young people. Lee repeated his
performance at the 2002 Word on the Street. Lee's poems were also inserted in
the information packets that go out to the parents of newborn children in
Toronto.

"Dennis Lee continues to be a consummate advocate for poetry and literary in
the city," said Rita Davies, Managing Director, Culture Division.

While Lee's focus has been on Toronto's literary arts, his accomplishments have
also been witnessed across Canada and abroad. Lee emceed the 2002 National
Poetry Day celebrations at City Hall and CBC chose a poem by Dennis Lee to be
read on the radio across the nation on the day. Lee was the 2002 Canadian
nomination for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the so-called "little
Nobel."

"It has been a tremendous honour to represent the literary arts in Toronto,"
said Lee. "The next year will be just as wonderful and promising with many
exciting developments on the way!"

Dennis Lee's tenure as Toronto's Poet Laureate concludes in December 2003.


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