Fredericton has had a poet laureate since 2016. Poet laureates in Fredericton are appointed by the city council and act as ambassadors of the literary arts. They serve a two-year term, and in that time, they create original poems and writings to present at events.
Fredericton’s current poet laureate is Jordan Trethewey, a writer, poet and loving husband and father to two children, who inspire a lot of his work. He is a well-known poet in online spaces and publications.
“I’ve met a lot of writers online. I was involved with some websites where you can upload your poems and comment on each other’s work, “ said Trethewey.
He said that someone told him that he should apply to be Fredericton’s poet laureate because his work was gaining popularity on these forums but not in the Fredericton community.
“We don’t travel outside of our own circles, and I don’t break out often, so I thought this would be a good way to showcase my skills,” he said.
Trethewey is a St. Thomas University alumnus who graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature concentrated in creative writing. He is also an alumnus of Holland College where he studied journalism.
He is also currently a creative writer for Bell Media, and a contributing writer and editor for Open Arts Forum. Before becoming the poet laureate, Trethewey worked as the head brewer and technical writer for Picaroons, where he created product branding and descriptions, and conducted brewery tours and tastings.
Trethewey’s main inspiration for poetry is people, having everyday encounters with family, friends and those that he may run into on occasion.
Life and death are also major inspirations in his writing. He enjoys writing for his children, too — many of his works are inspired or written simply for his family.
Currently, Trethewey’s main goal is to continue his official project for his term, which consists of hearing personal stories from community members and turning them into stories within a 24-hour period. He wants to hear people’s personal joys, troubles and concerns about their lives and the city as well.
Trethewey believes that poetry isn’t scary and that it should be accessible to all.
“I want people to read; I don’t want what I write to fly over people’s heads and I want to speak to people and talk about their concerns.”