Renee Sarojini Saklikar
Educated as a lawyer with a Juris Doctor of Laws (UBC), I have a B.A. in English Literature (UBC) and am a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU. I’ve served as an Executive Director in the B.C. civil service, managing staff and programs for youth employment and was the first Poet Laureate for the City of Surrey, B.C. I now teach creative writing and intellectual property for writers, at SFU and VCC. I am a writing coach, editor, and published author. I’ve served as a jury member for the B.C. Book Prizes (Poetry) and the Canadian Authors Awards as well as the Capilano Review. I’m currently a board member of Event magazine and the Surrey International Writers Conference as well as a Fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue. I am the co-founder and curator of Lunch Poems at SFU, one of Vancouver’s longest standing poetry reading series. Through these roles, I’ve been tasked many times with a variety of peer assessment activities including: the evaluation and comparison of eligible applications against program criteria and objectives; the discussion of merit, in a collaborative and consensual manner; and the scoring and assessing of artistic work, particularly poetry, fiction and non-fiction using appropriate assessment criteria. My role as teacher and laureate has deepened by skills at the self-reflection necessary to stay open-minded. My award-winning published work and my standing in the Canadian literary community in British Columbia, is based on both my knowledge and the experience outlined here. I’m passionate about online learning and enjoy reading the questions and perspectives of my students.