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Vol 39  No 7
Dec. 14, 2006


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Former Grenfell prof appointed Parliamentary Poet Laureate

The Grenfell College community learned this week that a former colleague has been appointed Parliamentary Poet Laureate.

John Steffler, a retired professor of English, was appointed poet laureate by the Speaker of the Senate, Noël A. Kinsella, and Speaker of the House of Commons, Peter Milliken.

Mr. Steffler, who is currently living in Montréal, is the third poet to hold this office. He was selected by the speakers from a list of three finalists.

Dr. John Ashton, principal of Grenfell College congratulated Mr. Steffler on his accomplishment. He said the impressive body of literary work that Mr. Steffler has assembled over the course of his career is reflective of the stimulating and supportive atmosphere at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. He added that Mr. Steffler’s colleagues and students and the entire community should share in this accomplishment.

Mr. Steffler is the author of five books of poetry. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright won the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Commonwealth First Novel Award.

The poet laureate’s duties include composing poetry for use in Parliament on occasions of state, sponsoring poetry readings, advising the Parliamentary Librarian on the Library’s collection and acquisitions to enrich the collection’s cultural holdings, and performing related duties at the request of the Speaker of the Senate or the House or the Parliamentary Librarian.

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