City of Surrey Poet Laureate
The Surrey Poet Laureate program was established in 2015 to advocate for literacy and the literary arts and to help raise the status of poetry, language, and the arts in the everyday consciousness of Surrey residents.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar was Surrey’s inaugural Poet Laureate from 2015-2018, demonstrating a passion for connecting people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds through poetry. She offered free monthly writing consultations, delivered writing workshops in schools and at community events, and encouraged Surrey residents to share local stories. Renee completed two legacy projects during her role as Surrey Poet Laureate: the first involved bringing 40 teens and seniors together to share their stories and was published as an anthology (Surrey Stories Connect: teens and seniors write Surrey, Surrey Libraries, 2016). The second was a series of chapbook writing workshops for 42 teen writers at 6 libraries. In the position, Saklikar participated in over 40 events each year and mentored over 150 writers through consultations and workshops.