Randell Adjei is Ontario’s first poet laureate

Randell Adjei

Spoken word artist Randell Adjei has been named Ontario’s first poet laureate.

Adjei’s appointment which was announced last week, follows a private member’s bill, to establish the role, in memory of the late Canadian poet and singer, Gord Downie who died in 2017.

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP MPP, Percy Hatfield, who had introduced the bill,  said “Randell Adjei is a great communicator and will excite and motivate audiences, in all corners of the province, with his enthusiasm for the written and spoken word.”

Hatfield’s bill to establish a Poet Laureate in Ontario received Royal Assent in December 2019,.

Adjei, a resident of Scarborough, will serve a two-year term  as poet laureate and, when public health restrictions are lifted, he plans to travel the province to raise the profile of Ontario’s poets and take part in poetry readings and educational workshops.

” I join all MPPs in congratulating Mr. Adjei on his appointment,” said Speaker Ted Arnott. “As Ontario’s first ever Poet Laureate, we know he will make an extraordinary contribution to the Province’s literary arts.”

As a legislative officer, Adjei will report to Speaker Arnott.

Adjei was a lead consultant in developing the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy and is founder, executive and creative director at RISE ( Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere), a youth-led initiative designed to allow young people to express themselves positively.