Samantha Badaoa is Windsor’s first Youth Poet Laureate, a position to which she was appointed in 2019. Badaoa is a published author and a well-known spoken word performer in the local scene.
Badaoa grew up just outside Windsor in Leamington, Ontario. A first-generation Canadian, she is the fourth child born to parents of Arabic descent. As a result of her cultural upbringing, Badaoa’s poetic works explore the subjects of race, religion, immigration, and class in Windsor-Essex County.
Badaoa is an Honours graduate of the University of Windsor’s English Language and Literature program (2018). She is renowned for her open-mic performances around the
Windsor area, and was the Grand Champion of the Windsor Poetry Slam in 2015. Badaoa has also represented Windsor at several national poetry events and has contributed to and edited a number of poetry volumes. For her achievements, Badaoa was named Windsor’s Youth Poet Laureate in March of 2019. As Youth Poet Laureate, Badaoa is working to encourage the growth of Windsor-Essex County’s arts community while helping marginalized groups, such as women, immigrants, and Indigenous peoples, to tell their stories through art. For example, in the Spring and Summer of 2020 Badaoa ran a poetry contest to inspire teenagers and young adults to develop their creative voices.
Badaoa published her first collection, so am i, with Black Moss Press in 2020. The poems in this volume are deeply personal as she reflects on identity, young love, religious faith, and mental health. Badaoa’s artistic influences include American poets Danez Smith, Anis Mojgani, and Andrea Gibson, as well as local poets Vanessa Shields and Mary Ann Mulhern.
Caton, Mary. “City council names new Poets Laureate.” Windsor Star, 26 March 2019. https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/city-council-names-new-poets-laureate
“Poetry Month Feature: Samantha Badaoa.” Black Moss Press, April 15, 2020. https://blackmosspress.com/poetry-month-feature-samantha-badaoa/
“Samantha Badaoa: Youth Poet Laureate 2019-2020.” City of Windsor, n.d. http://citywindsor.ca/residents/Culture/Pages/Samantha-Badaoa.aspx