Congratulations, Naomi Wakan!

Gabriola Island poet, Naomi Beth Wakan, has received a special award from the Federation of British Columbia Writers. As Nanaimo’s first (and current) Poet Laureate, Naomi received the Honourary Ambassador Award in recognition of the dedicated and spirited way she has made live poetry a rich and everyday component of civic life in her community. She brings poetry to all kinds of venues, from festival openings to city council meetings to local literary cafes.

“Naomi’s work exemplifies our federation’s central value, which is ‘writers helping writers’,” said FBCW president, Coco Aders-Weremczuk, in presenting the award. “By bringing poetry out into the open and making it a live art that is accessible, she has raised people’s awareness of the invisible writer behind a piece of writing.”

As Poet Laureate, Naomi has worked to encourage young writers. Last year she judged a national youth poetry competition. This year she is going to run a similar competition with a Nanaimo theme for grades 10-12. She is contributing to an anthology of Nanaimo poetry.

“I am very honoured to have been given this award acknowledging my deep interest in encouraging fresh writing talent,” Naomi said. “When I read, or listen to new poets or writers who have really gotten in touch with their own voice, I am always so touched and want to do whatever I can to further their efforts.”

For more information about Naomi Beth Wakan.  For information about the Federation of British Columbia Writers.


  1. chris czajkowski

    Way to go, Naomi. You deserve it.

  2. Congratulations Naomi! You are an enduring inspiration! xoxo

  3. susan yeend

    I am so glad that you got this award. Your passion is inspiring!