Castlegar natives campaign to become Poet Laureate – Castlegar News

A young man with Castlegar roots attempts to become the town’s poet laureate.

Tristan Wheeler spoke to Castlegar City Council on June 26, suggesting that Castlegar become a trendsetter in Kootenay by creating a position that is typically only seen in major cities and countries.

He suggested that the post would be for a term and unpaid.

Wheeler sees himself as the perfect candidate to write poetry for important events such as elections, celebrations and times of mourning and to act as a leading figure in poetry in the community.

Wheeler graduated from Stanley Humphries High School in 2015 as a valedictorian.

He says his interest in poetry began at a young age, dating back as far as his performance of William Blake’s The Tyger in a fourth grade talent show at Kinnaird Elementary School.

Wheeler received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from UBC last year.

He wrote a book of poetry called Convergence which includes poems about growing up and visiting Castlegar.

Councilor Bergen Price loved the idea and the way it could improve Castlegar’s artistic culture.

The Council urged Wheeler to read a few of his poems, including one on Castlegar Town Hall.

Even though Wheeler does not currently live in Castlegar, he says his heart still lives here.

Mayor Kirk Duff said listening to Wheeler got him excited about the concept of Poet Laureate.

Council decided to ask staff to study the idea and report back at a future meeting before making a final decision.

Some poems by Tristan Wheeler:

Town Hall 2007

They built the town hall

in red brick and cement.

We saw it go up.

If we are lucky

maybe we’ll see him come down.


A building collapses if you

stay there too long

An apple rots if you

put off eating too long

A dream is forgotten if you

leave it aside too long

And a city?

Does a city disappear if you

not to visit it?

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