Lauren Best was Owen Sound’s Poet Laureate 2017-2019, with a tenure focused on children.
Lauren is included alongside other Poets Laureate Emeritus in the City of Windsor’s South Shore Collections series, A Manor of Words: Poetry at the Manor 10th Anniversary Anthology (Black Moss Press, 2022). Lauren’s 2010 chapbook Resound Re:Sound is collection of lyrics selected from songs she wrote while living in Owen Sound between 2004-2008. Her poems are published in Spike: Poems in the Time of Pestilence (Cannon Creek Press, 2021).
Lauren has performed her poetry extensively. Over the past decade she has facilitated hundreds of community language arts workshops, from large events to school performances and intimate classes- even a moving workshop on a bus! Her interactive poetry project Holy Haiku started online as a concept to crowdsource creation, and then led to other published poems Lauren wrote using this interactive fill-in-the-blank approach. Her approach towards performance poetry has ranged from festival performances of spoken word to collaborative and improvisatory methods.
Her new projects combine found poetry and erasure/cut-up methods to create new performance poetry and sound art from historical texts written by Lauren’s great-grandmother. This upcoming project is funded in part by the Ontario Arts Council.