Renée Sarojini Saklikar is Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Passionate about connecting people through poetry, as Laureate in Surrey she offers free writing consultations, teaches poetry in schools and at community events, and hosts workshops with youth and seniors to tell Surrey stories (Surrey Stories Connect: teens and seniors write Surrey, Surrey Libraries, 2016).
Trained as a lawyer at the University of British Columbia, with a degree in English Literature, Renée teaches creative writing for Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Community College. Renée's first book, children of air india, (Nightwood Editions, 2013) won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry and her second book, with Wayde Compton, The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil Press/SFU Public Square, 2015) was a finalist for a 2016 City of Vancouver Book Award. Fascinated by artistic collaboration, Renée's work has been made into opera and song cycles (air india [redacted], Turning Point Ensemble, 2015) and visual art (Chris Turnbull, see thecanadaproject on wordpress for images from Turnbull's outdoor eco-installation featuring Renée's poetry).
Renée is working on an epic sci-fi journey poem, THOT-J-BAP, parts of which appear in literary journals (The Capilano Review, Dusie, The Rusty Toque, Tripwire) and chapbooks (above/ground, Nous-zot and Nomados presses) and her chapbook, After the Battle of Kingsway, the bees, was a finalist for the 2017 bpNichol chapbook award. She recently published a long poem about her personal connection to the Air India Flight 182 bombing, in an anthology of scholarly and artistic work (Remembering Air India, the art of public mourning, University of Alberta Press, 2017). In Spring, 2018, Nightwood Editions will release a collection of bee poems written by Renée, in response to essays by GG award winning Dr. Mark Winston, Listening to the Bees.