Join us for featured reader Ruth Daniel as part of the afternoon reading series at New Horizons in James Bay.
Hosted by Sheila Martindale.

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.  Planet Earth Poetry acknowledges with respect that we read and write on the traditional territories of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), Lkwungen (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.


John Barton’s  Windsock

John Barton’s Windsock

FRIDAY, march 1, 2019

john barton & Aziza Moqia Sealey-Qaylow

John Barton is the fifth City of Victoria Poet Laureate. Forthcoming this May are We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos (Palimpsest), his first book of prose, and The Essential Douglas LePan, which he edited for Porcupine’s Quill. Signal will publish his twelfth collection of poetry, Lost Family, a book of sonnets, in 2020. 

Windsock, the third chapbook in Frog Hollow Press’s Dis/Ability Series, is a suite of sixteen sonnets, with art by the late Victoria painter James Gordaneer. Edited for the press by Shane Nielson, Barton’s poems use the formality of the sonnet form to explore the origins and persistent challenges of chronic pain.  “After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” says Emily Dickinson, “ The Nerves sit ceremonious…” Barton redefines for himself the essence of hell and wellness.

Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate Aziza Moqia Sealey-Qaylow

Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate Aziza Moqia Sealey-Qaylow

Aziza is a slam poet and an honours graduate from Reynolds Secondary School.  As the daughter of a Somali refugee and a seventh-generation Canadian, Sealey-Qaylow is deeply connected to her culture and writes about the adventures of being in a mixed family, as well as to help negotiate the joy and clashes found in the daily mix of cultures, ethnicities, religions, languages and nationalities. An active volunteer within various parts of the community, Aziza has travelled to many European and African countries, and likes to view the world with an open mind.

Leslie Timmins

Leslie Timmins

FRIDAY, march 8, 2019


Leslie Timmins is the author of the chapbook The Limits of Windows (The Alfred Gustav Press) and Every Shameless Ray (Inanna Publications). Her poems have been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Leslie works as an editor and volunteers with the Women Refugees Advocacy Project.

The heart may ache, grave illness threaten, war rage, and art tear down its foundations, but in Every Shameless Ray a shameless calling goes on signaling and illuminating, restoring and repairing in a ‘fine disorder’ of possibility. 

In a preview of the book, the prize-winning poet, Fiona Tinwei Lam, wrote: 

Whether traversing the fraught terrain of cancer or depicting the ecstatic in Matisse’s canvasses, Timmins explores the nature of perception, its shifts and shadows, in finely wrought, beautifully crafted poems.”

Marion Quednau photo: Kat Wahamaa

Marion Quednau photo: Kat Wahamaa

Marion Quednau has won numerous awards for poetry, including a National Magazine Award, a chapbook award from the League of Canadian Poets, a Malahat Long Poem prize, and has won the People’s Choice when short-listed for CBC Writes Poetry. Her prose has also received critical acclaim, including the Smithbooks-Books in Canada First Novel Award, and kudos from the Children’s Book Centre and Ontario Library Association. Paradise, Later Years is her first full-length collection of poetry.

This is a highly-anticipated collection by one of the most compelling writers I’ve encountered. In long poems, prose poems, and piercing lyrics, Marion Quednau spotlights the strangeness of the so-called matter of fact, of “all the unknown edges of knowing” “in our wanders for life’s hardpan meaning.” Here we encounter poems of linguistic richness, of pathos and wit, poems about love and failed relationships, a “cliffhanger” family, the untameable natural world. These are poems “for / the sake of outrageous beauty” in which “the intricacies matter.” Quednau’s is a book you can read “as if time were long again” and you are grateful for it. —Susan Elmslie, author of Museum of Kindness

Rayanne Haines’s latest collection.

Rayanne Haines’s latest collection.

FRIDAY, march 15, 2019


A Pair of PEPpers:
Michelle Brown & Zöe Dickinson

Rayanne Haines is an award-winning fiction author and poet, co-host of the poetry podcast, Let’s Get Lit, the executive director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival and in 2018, was named a feature artist with Edmonton Public Library. 

In Stained with the Colours of Sunday Morning, Rayanne Haines fictional Novel-in-Verse, we take a journey through one woman’s life, told from the perspective of three characters. Three voices weave through a lifetime in and out of harmony as they tell us a story of innocence, feminism, intellect, motherhood, immigration, understanding and loss. Ancient mythology is laced through the poems and the character's voices ring with the echoes of the maiden, the mother and the crone.

A Pair of PEPpers: regular readers at our open mic given a 10 minute set so we can hear several of their poems in a row.

Ruth Daniell’s collection  The Brightest Thing.

Ruth Daniell’s collection The Brightest Thing.

FRIDAY, march 22, 2019

ruth daniell, Bonnie nish & Jude neale

Ruth Daniell is an award-winning writer whose poems have appeared in Arc Poetry MagazineGrainRoomQwerty, The Antigonish Review and Event. She holds a bachelor of arts degree (honours) in English literature and writing from the University of Victoria and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives with her family in Kelowna, BC.

In formally exquisite and lyrical poems, The Brightest Thing tells the story of a young woman who is raped by her first boyfriend and her struggle afterwards to navigate her fairy-tale expectations of romantic love. This contemporary story of hurt and healing is paired with poems that give voice to silenced princesses from fairy tales, including Rapunzel and The Little Mermaid’s sister. At turns heartbreaking and joyful, Daniel’s poems question the pursuit of “happily ever after,” and probe deep into darkness while looking for the light.

Cantata in Two Voices   by Jude Neale and Bonnie Nish

Cantata in Two Voices
by Jude Neale and Bonnie Nish

Bonnie Nish is Executive Director of Pandora’s Collective Outreach Society, and Word Vancouver. Her first book of poetry Love and Bones was released by Karma Press in 2013. Bonnie has a Masters in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Language and Literacy Education at UBC. Her next book Concussion and Mild TBI: Not Just Another Headline, an anthology of concussion related stories, was published by Lash and Associates in 2016. Bonnie is an Expressive Arts Therapist with a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the Vancouver Expressive Arts Therapy School who has worked extensively with youth and adults in high-risk situations. She has conducted writing and expressive arts workshops for over 20 years across North America.  Her latest book, Cantata in Two Voices, co-written with Jude Neal was released last fall by Ekstasis Editions.

Jude Neale is a Canadian poet, vocalist, spoken word performer and mentor. She has been shortlisted, highly commended and finalist for many international and national competitions.

Author of six books, her A Quiet Coming of Light, A Poetic Memoir (Leaf Press) was a finalist for the 2015 Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

In 2018, Jude and Bonnie Nish started an online collaboration which lead them to write, Cantata in Two Voices, in fifty challenging days. 

Her forthcoming book, A Blooming, will be published by Ekstasis Editions in 2019.

Kerry Gilbert’s  Little Red

Kerry Gilbert’s Little Red

FRIDAY, march 29, 2019

kerry gilbert & al rempel

Kerry Gilbert has won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Award for Best Suite by an Emerging Writer and has been shortlisted for ReLit, for the Ralph Gustafson Prize for the Best Poem, for the Pacific Spirit Poetry Contest and for the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry for Best Suite by an Established Writer.

About Little Red (Mother Tongue Publishing)

A powerful re-visioning of one of the original didactic stories about missing and murdered girls, where “Wolf leapt upon Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her up.” Interweaving verse—Wolf, Nana, Scarlet, the Woodcutter, the forest, lost & innocent children, roads, accidents, homelessness and bears & crows—echo off one another, creating a kaleidoscope of modern cautionary tales. 

“where beauty co-exists with violence; where the upending of expectation merges with truth…”
–Renee Saklikar

Undiscovered Country   by Al Rempel

Undiscovered Country
by Al Rempel

Al Rempel’s previous books of poetry are This Isn't the Apocalypse We Hoped For, Understories and two chapbooks: Four Neat Holes and The Picket Fence Diaries. His poems have also appeared in various journals and anthologies. Rempel currently lives in Prince George, and can be found at