A leading literary advocate has now been charged with carrying the city’s unique artistic legacy forward into the world.
Earlier today, Western professor Tom Cull was named Poet Laureate for the City of London by the London Arts Council. The Poet Laureate is an ambassador for London’s arts community on local, provincial and national levels.
Cull, an American Studies and Writing Studies professor, was born and raised in rural Southwestern Ontario. He is a poet, community organizer and active participant in the city’s arts scene. As a poet, Cull strives to write poems that are accessible, open to diverse groups and engaged with the socio-political-environmental realities of our world. His poems comprise a wide variety of poetic forms, from traditional lyric to spoken word to experimental language.
“Tom has served London as a dedicated professional in his field for various literary organizations and initiatives,” said Andrea Halwa, London Arts Council Executive Director. “We are delighted to be working with Tom and look forward to supporting him in his new role.”
Cull has been a board member of WordsFest, London’s literary arts festival, for which he has worked to create events that unite and showcase London’s artistic community. He is co-publisher and co-editor of the WordsFestZine, a collection of poems written by festival authors and attendees over the course of the three-day festival.
He has been a committee member and workshop facilitator for Poetry London’s reading series since 2012. Additionally, he facilitates yearly workshops for Western’s Language Day, Gathering in the Garden and the Children’s International Summer Villages Summer Camp, which engages elementary students in environmental conservation through poetic expression.
Cull follows Penn Kemp, BA’66, CertEd’68, who served as the city’s first Poet Laureate. London is one of only 25 cities in Canada with a program of this kind.
“The City of London and London Arts Council are excited to support the Poet Laureate as one our city’s ambassadors for the arts. We look forward to seeing the creative legacy to come,” said London Mayor Matt Brown.
Cull has served as a board member to Urban League and as a member of the Back to the River Steering Committee. He lives in London with his partner and 6-year-old son.