The Juan de Fuca Electoral Area has its own poet laureate.
The Capital Regional District designated the non-monetary position to Otter Point resident Wendy Morton at the request of electoral area director Mike Hicks on Sept. 11.
Morton is the founder of Canada’s Random Acts of Poetry. Morton is a recipient Order of B.C., 2010 Spirit Bear Award, an honorary citizen of Victoria, and the honourary ambassador for the Federation of B.C. Writers.
The author of six books of poetry and a memoir entitled Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Morton said she’s pleased with the designation.
“I have written a lot of poems over the years for the community,” Morton said.
“I think it’s just a part of my life. I created a poem for [former Sooke councillor] Brenda Parkinson’s memorial, and recently I did a poem for the fall fair. It’s just my way of giving back to the community I love.”
Morton’s lived in Otter Point for 46 years.
“It’s perpetually green. We bought our place back in 1973 and it has a view of the Strait [of Juan de Fuca], and we have nine acres of forest out back,” she said.
Hicks said he had the idea of asking Morton to take on the poet laureate role after learning Victoria has its own poet.
“Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told me that at a CRD meeting, and I immediately thought of Wendy,” Hicks said.
“I know her and I know that she is a fantastic poet. She already writes poems for us whenever she’s asked, and I thought we should make it official.”
As for Morton, she laughed when asked what the designation will mean to her.
“I have a full, happy life and when someone needs a poem, I write it … because I can. It’s always nice to be recognized, but that’s not why I do it,” she said.
“These days I just love working in my garden and seeing the poetry in the world around me.”
The following is a part of Morton’s poem about the recent Fall Fair.
Those who bring their gifts to this place
of sunlight and fog,
the Strait of Juan de Fuca,
the salt wind.
All the light it brings.