The Planet Earth Poetry reading series is a launching pad for the energies of writers and poets established and not. It is a place where words are most important. A venue in which all manner of poets and writers are welcome; a place for excellence, innovation, collaboration, diverse projects and experiments. The evening begins at 7:30 with an open mic, followed by a featured reader(s). Planet Earth Poetry is located at Hillside Coffee and Tea, 1633 Hillside Ave (across from Bolen Books). Between 7 and 7:15, put your name in the hat to read at open mic.

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november 2016       

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FRIDAY, november 4, 2016

SHERYDA WARRENER & sarah kendall 

Sheryda Warrener is the author of two poetry collections, Floating is Everything (Nightwood Editions 2015) and her debut Hard Feelings (Snare/Invisible, 2010). Her work has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year, the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and was a runner-up for Lemon Hound’s inaugural poetry contest. She lives in Vancouver, where she teaches at the University of British Columbia.

Sheryda Warrener’s second poetry collection circles notions of belonging. A retired cosmonaut returns from a record-breaking 438 days in space and attempts to re-immerse himself in the world. One speaker considers reinvention from the top floor of the World’s Tallest building; another, our complicated future from Reykjavik, post-eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Confessions and aspirations suspend in air. Ghosts float in and out; inheritance and connection are called into question. Morrissey, Cindy Sherman, and Pancho Barnes make cameo appearances. Influence and personal lineage are traced back to the Vikings, demoted Pluto, artists frequenting a Parisian bar. One speaker confides: “Yes, she’s longing to be elsewhere. Just past the sun deck there’s something invisible worth having.” In Floating is Everything, a resolution lies nearly always out of reach.

Born in Ireland, Sarah Kendall moved to Vancouver when she was eight. Her father, a professor at University of British Columbia, took a job at Columbia University for a year, so the family moved to New York in 1964, the year Sarah turned 13.

In July of 1964, the family was returning from a camping trip in Massachusetts when tragedy struck. The car swerved and rolled over twice. Everyone survived, but Mum and Sarah were badly injured—Sarah’s skull fractured but healed, while Mum lived the rest of her life as a quadriplegic.

Sarah studied art history at UBC, worked at Duthies bookstore, apprenticed to a goldsmith and became a jewelry maker, a profession she loved but found it hard to make a living. She trained as a family-oriented childcare worker, and some years later, found her true calling as a massage therapist and entrepreneur. A world traveller, mother, lover of people and friend to many, she suffered a cerebral aneurism in 2005, spent a month in a coma, and defying all medical predictions, survived. 

This book is about the struggle and passion with which Sarah felt her life as a post-aneurysm survivor. She identifies memories of childhood, sweet and earnest places, extremely hard times, and the on-going struggle and the on-going reward with which she experienced them. The rich and lyrical poetry can take the reader, through her language, to the difficult and joyous times as though they were there, experiencing the same thing.

FRIDAY, novemBER 11, 2016

launch of “in fine form”

Readers in attendance:
Yvonne Blomer, Marilyn Bowering, Terry Ann Carter, Lorna Crozier, Eve Joseph, Pamela Porter, Anita Lahey, Arleen Paré, Barbara Pelman, Steven Price, Stephen Scobie, Patricia Young, and editors Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve.

In the decade since the publication of the first edition of In Fine Form, there has been a resurgence of Canadian poets writing in “form” – in sonnets and ghazals, triolets and ballads, villanelles and palindromes — and formal poetry has become more visible in books, literary journals and classrooms. The first edition of this anthology was called “groundbreaking,” “a paradigm shift” and “a landmark text.” Since then, it has gone through several printings and been widely used in classrooms at all levels from elementary school to university, by writers who want to try something new, and by readers eager to explore a whole other side of Canadian poetry.

Of course, Canadians have always written in form, and some of its early practitioners such as Charles G.D. Roberts and Robert Service are again represented here, as well as more recent writers such as PK Page, Margaret Atwood, Fred Wah, Rachel Rose, Christian Bök and George Elliott Clarke. The new edition includes 51 new poets including Nicole Brossard, Rob Taylor, Renée Sarojini Saklikar, Kyla Czaga, David O’Meara, Sheri-D Wilson, George Bowering, Lillian Allen, Marlene NorbeSe Philip, Mary Dalton, and also explores exciting new forms not acknowledged in most other anthologies including spoken word, prose poems, doublets, found poems and pas de deux.

In Fine Form 2nd Edition is an anthology that continues to break new ground, a thrilling collection of more than 25 forms and 180 poems arranged by section, one for each form, with a brief introduction to the form’s history and variations. An extended essay explores common poetic terms and technical devices. Surprising and exhilarating, here is a showcase for some of the best poetry this country has produced.

 Will Webster and carrot.

Will Webster and carrot.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2016

sonnet l’abbé & will Webster

Will Webster has lived a poet’s life and written poetry since he was a boy growing up in Southern Ontario. Although his work has only appeared in a few literary magazines (Tstitra Comox Valley, Open Door – Vancouver), he has a published hundreds of articles covering current events, court proceedings, history, community events, arts and entertainment, personality profiles and sports for newspapers across Canada, including the Yukon News, The Nelson Daily News, the Welland Tribune, St. Catharines Standard, Canmore Leader and the Banff Crag and Canyon. Will also published a feature story in Peter Gzowski’s Fifth Morningside Papers, and was a frequent contributor to the CBC radio show Morningside back in the 1990s.

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Dr. Sonnet L'Abbé  is a poet, essayist and public speaker. The author of two collections of poetry, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, L'Abbé was the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and was the 2015 Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan and at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. Dr. L'Abbé currently teaches creative writing and English at Vancouver Island University. She is working on a book called Sonnet’s Shakespeare, an erasure-by-crowding, in which she overwrites or “colonizes” all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Her first chapbook, Anima Canadensis, is coming out with Junction Books in late 2016.

 I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2016

WENDY MORTON & leanne mcintosh 

On November 25, Wendy Morton celebrates her birthday by showing photographs that accompany poems about her garden, the ravens that watch her there and the winter stream that sings to her. She may be wearing a cape and a nice tiara, and encourages others to do so, which may save the world.

She has 7 books in the world, a wall full of awards; the latest of which is the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General for her projects, Random Acts of Poetry and The Elder Project.

 Leanne McIntosh’s  Dark Matter

Leanne McIntosh’s Dark Matter

Leanne McIntosh will be reading from her third book of poetry, Dark Matter (Leaf Press, 2013) and from two unpublished manuscripts titled Bare Blue Morning and Double Helix.  The trilogy of work follows a 36 year friendship with her friend, Jack Sproule, a friendship which ends at a seniors’ home and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Leanne has published two other books of poetry, The Sound the Sun Makes and Liminal Space. She was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and has made Nanaimo home for 46 years.