Winnipeg Arts Council

Winnipeg Poet Laureate

Chimwemwe smiles towards the camera as she stands against a blue painted brick wall. Her hair is black and styled in shoulder length braids. She is wearing round framed glasses, a blue collared shirt, and a dark grey blazer.

Chimwemwe (Chim) Undi is Winnipeg’s third Poet Laureate, holding the position for 2023 and 2024. Her writing is grounded in storytelling and spoken word traditions, and she has been writing and performing since her teenaged days at Fort Richmond Collegiate. Poetry has taken her across Canada and overseas, and her work has been published in Prairie Fire, CV2 Magazine, Border Crossings, The Walrus, and more.

As Poet Laureate, Chim hopes to connect with young people throughout the city and help them discover the same love of writing and performing that she found from her mentors. A prolific writer and activist, she co-founded the Voices, Ink. Youth Poetry Slam, she has been one of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 and in 2022 she won the John Hirsch Award at the Manitoba Book Awards. Her writing has tremendous appeal across the artistic disciplines and has been featured as part of exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg’s Gallery 1C03.

She is the author of the chapbook “The Habitual Be,” included in New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set published by University of Nebraska Press. She will debut a full-length collection of poems with House of Anansi in 2024.

In her spare time, Chim practices law with the Winnipeg firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman where she practices professional regulation, labour, employment and intellectual property law.