The City of Mississauga is celebrating National Poetry Month in a big way with the announcement of its new Poet Laureate.

Paul Edward Costa was named the 2019-2021 Poet Laureate at General Committee today. Paul is a writer, teacher and spoken word artist who has published over sixty stories, poems and articles in literary journals worldwide such as Alt-Minds Literary Magazine, Peacock Journal, Entropy Magazine and more. He will take over the role from the City’s second Poet Laureate, Wali Shah, to serve a two year term (April 2019 to the end of March 2021).

Every two years, the City embarks on a search for a new Poet Laureate to elevate the status of poetry, literary arts and writers within communities and beyond. With this honourary position, Paul Edward Costa has been recognized as a poet who writes excellent poetry or spoken word and has written on themes that are relevant to citizens of Mississauga.

“We want to congratulate Paul on being selected as Poet Laureate from an exceptional list of applicants this past year,” said Paul Damaso, Director, Culture Division. “As a talented writer, poet and teacher, he will be a tremendous ambassador for our city and a great role model for aspiring artists and poets in Mississauga.”

As the new Poet Laureate, Paul will focus on serving as a literary ambassador for Mississauga to promote poetry and literary arts, raise the profile of writers in Mississauga and create an artist legacy through public readings and civic interactions. He will also act as mentor for the City’s current Youth Poet Laureate, Pujita Verma.

The public can expect to see the new Poet Laureate, Paul Edward Costa, at the City’s First Annual Poetry Slam on April 25. Paul will also make an appearance as part of Canada Day celebrations at Celebration Square on July 1.

As a way to kick-off his new role as Poet Laureate and to celebrate National Poetry Month, Paul read from one of his poems titled, A Line of Poets (see verse below) at General Committee.

 

About Paul Edward Costa
Paul Edward Costa is a writer, teacher and spoken word artist. In addition to publishing stories, poems and articles for literary journals, he also performs spoken word at a variety of poetry events as an open mic or featured artist. He currently teaches high school English and History with the Peel District School Board.

His novella, “Dark Magic on the Edge of Town,” was published in 2016 with Paperback-Press. His book of poetry, “The Long Train of Chaos,” will be published in August 2019 by Kung Fu Treachery Press. Paul regularly gives talks at The Mississauga Writers’ Group meetings, hosts and curates The Youth Troopers for Global Awareness (YTGA) Open Mic Series at Studio.89 and is co-organizer of the Mississauga Arts Council’s series Verses Out Loud: A Spoken Word and Poetry Open Mic.

Paul earned a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Arts in Education at York University.

 

A Line of Poets
By: Paul Edward Costa

A baton touches my hand when it swings back
and in an instant
I’m not a solitary runner on a cracked desert;
it slowly dawns on me that I never have been,
I’m linked to a train
reaching from the cool, steady hand
passing this position to mine,
all the way back to poets who set
the vivid life of city states into history and permanence,
cast lassos in the air,
caught ethereal spirits and emotions
floating above the heads of people
in squares of celebration
and set them into the shapes of runes lighting up
when you read them and see a sensation you’ve always felt
but never had verified
by the reality of a concrete shape.

I pray I leave behind
not just a record of words
but a poetic spark in more souls
than those who know they have such a lightning inside them,
that I hope grows into a fire of minds
fiercely expressing their free identities
and setting lines of future poets aflame
with the responsibility of their art’s capacity
for commemoration,
celebration,
reminding,
remembering,
and encapsulating the dynamic realities of this place,
this time.