VANCOUVER: Vancouver-based award-winning multilingual poet, speaker and writer Ashok Bhargava has been honoured with the title of Poet Laureate of Rockwell Club in the City of Makati in the Philippines.
The honour, bestowed on him by Axlepin Publishing, is for the period of 2013 -2015.
Bhargava, who recently travelled to the Philippines, was also honored with an Ambassador Poet Award by Historical Pentasi B. Forum in collaboration with the National Museum of the Philippines and the National Library of the Philippines.
The award ceremony took place at Marble Hall in metro Manila. He will serve as the literary and cultural ambassador for a two-year term for the World Friendship Poetry of Pentasi B Historical Forum.
Bhargava has published four books of poetry. His poetry has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. He has been featured on CBC Radio and Chanel M TV as well as Word On The Street, Explorasian and Chapter’s Under The Cherry Tree.
He has also won Poet Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Recently he was honored by the University of British Columbia & GF Trust with their Humanitarian Award.
Bhargava is an avid volunteer, supporter and organizer of various social and artistic activities. He is the founder of “WIN – Writers International Network Canada.” He believes that volunteering enriches us spiritually. He finds living between cultures and languages very intriguing and stimulating.
Historically, a Poet Laureate served as the official chronicler of state events and occasions. In ancient times, the Laureate was the central means for recording and communicating history. “Laureate” comes from the Latin word ‘laureatus’, meaning adorned with a crown of laurel, an honour also bestowed on the earliest Olympic athletes. Poet Laureates date back centuries when they first served the British Monarchy. Some of the earliest poetry is believed to have been orally recited or sung as a way of remembering history, stories and law.
As a Poet Laureate, Bhargava is to promote poetry as a vehicle of global peace, harmony and understanding. As an ambassador for the literary arts, he will incorporates poetry into a range of informal local and international literary activities.
Interestingly, some Punjabi people living in Manila noticed the big welcoming posters of Ashok Bhargava and decided to come in and join the celebration.
“It was such a heart warming and spontaneous act of relating to a fellow countrymen that it brought tears to my eyes and I felt very proud to be a Punjabi and an Indian,’’ says Bhargava.
(Ashok Bhargava is the president of Writers International Network Canada)