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.




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

Cecily Nicholson

Cecily Nicholson

FRIDAY, may 10, 2019

cecily nicholson & marita dachsel

Cecily Nicholson is a part of the Joint Effort prison abolitionist group and works as the Interpretive Programmer for the Surrey Art Gallery. She is the author of TriageFrom the Poplars, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and Wayside Sang, which won the Governor General's award for poetry.

Wayside Sang concerns entwined migrations of Black-other diaspora coming to terms with fossil-fuel psyches in times of trauma and movement. This is a poetic account of economy travel on North American roadways, above and beneath lakes and rivers, and between nation states. Nicholson reimagines the trajectories of her birth father and his labour as it criss-crossed these borders, in a study that engages the automobile object, its industry and roadways, through and beyond the Great Lakes region.

Marita Dachsel’s  There Are Not Enough Sad Songs

Marita Dachsel’s There Are Not Enough Sad Songs

Marita Dachsel [pronounced Daxel] is the author of three poetry collections, her most recent There Are Not Enough Sad Songs. Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry, and the ReLit Award. She teaches in UVic’s Writing Department.

There Are Not Enough Sad Songs explores parenthood, love, and the grief of losing those both close and distant. In the tradition of Karen Solie and Suzanne Buffam, and with a touch of Canadian Gothic, Dachsel’s poetic skills unfold in a variety of brief and expansive forms. Authentic and controlled, full of complexity and disorder, her poems offer release despite their painful twists and topics. 

Michael Kenyon’s  Lamb

Michael Kenyon’s Lamb

FRIDAY, may 17, 2019

michael kenyon & catherine j. stewart

Michael Kenyon was born in Sale, England, and has lived on the West Coast since 1967. He’s the author of fifteen books of poetry and fiction. He has been employed as a seaman, a diver and a taxidriver, a freelance editor and a therapist. 

Lamb, organized as a long poem, was written over a period of nine years. The first section, Ottawa, is a kind of chronicle of Kenyon’s trip to the capital to collect the silver ring that the ReLit folk (Kenneth Harvey and readers) bequeath, in a pub, on the year’s prizewinners. The next two sections (I Waited at Mallaig and Holes) delve into the passing of parents and the transcendent part of that process. There’s a section based on a camping trip to Cypress Hills, then two sections, Pacific, this and Prairie, that, that were written at the Wallace Stegner House in Eastend, Saskatchewan, and which grapple with history and “the point of it all” along the fault line between this world’s loves and cares and the unknowable.

Catherine J. Stewart

Catherine J. Stewart

Catherine J. Stewart is a poet from Victoria, BC. Her poems have been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and for the Malahat Review’s Far Horizon Award for Poetry. Her work is published in Grain, untethered, Room and The Dalhousie Review and is included in the League of Canadian Poets’ anthology, Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees. Her appreciation of the natural world (she is an avid kayaker and hiker) is apparent in her poetry. Catherine has a BA in writing from the University of Victoria, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She divides her time between her family homestead in Spillimacheen and her home in Victoria, BC.

iclip easter.jpg

FRIDAY, may 24, 2019

daniel cowper & sandra ridley

Daniel Cowper is a poet and writer from Bowen Island, BC. His first chapbook, The God of Doors, was published in 2017 as co-winner of Frog Hollow Press’ chapbook contest. His first full-length book of poetry, Grotesque Tenderness, is out now with McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Grotesque Tenderness, speaks for an unrooted age, for unrooted people. In these poems, city-dwellers long to ally themselves with some sympathetic culture or the evolutionary logic of nature, but those alliances remain conditional, ambiguous, or dangerous. From lyrics of alienation and heartbreak to mythopoeia and lament, these poems approach beauty, ugliness, even criminality in a spirit of wonder and vulnerability.

Sandra Ridley. Photo: John W. MacDonald

Sandra Ridley. Photo: John W. MacDonald

Sandra Ridley is the author of four books of poetry: Fallout, Post-Apothecary, The Counting House, and Silvija (a finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize). In the summer of 2019, she will be returning as poetry instructor at the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan. 

In a sequence of five feverish elegies, Sandra Ridley’s Silvija combines narrative lyric and experimental verse styles to manifest dark themes related to love and loss: the traumas of psychological suffering, physical abuse, terminal illness, revelation, resolution, and healing. Pulsing with the award-winning writer’s signature blend of fervour and sangfroid, the poems in Silvija accrue into a book-length testament to a grief, leaving readers with the redemptive grace that comes from poetry’s ability to wrestle chaos into meaning.

Doyali Islam. Photo: Arden Wray

Doyali Islam. Photo: Arden Wray

FRIDAY, may 31, 2019

doyali islam & ian ferrier

Doyali Islam is an award-winning poet and the poetry editor of Arc. She has been interviewed by Michael Enright for CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition, and by Shelagh Rogers for CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter. Doyali’s brand-new poetry book, heft (M&S, 2019), is a ledger of tenderness, survival, and risk. Poems from the collection have been published in Kenyon Review Online and Best Canadian Poetry, and have been interpreted into film.

Through split sonnets, double sonnets, astro-poems, and parallel poems, heft asks: How does one inhabit a world in which "the moon / & the drone hang in the same sky"? How can one inhabit one's own body in the presence of chronic/recurrent pain and a particular construct of normal female sexual experience? What might a daughter salvage within a fraught relationship with a cancer-stricken father?

heft is permeated with tenderness—the poems deepen our humanity.”
—Anne Michaels (CV2, Spring 2019)

Ian Ferrier. Photo: Bonnie Nish

Ian Ferrier. Photo: Bonnie Nish

Ian Ferrier is a poet, musician and performer. He has performed in over 500 shows in Canada, the United States and Europe.  He has released two CDs and a CD/book.  His most recent books of poetry are Bear Dreams (Popolo Press 2016) and Coming & Going (Popolo Press 2015). Quel est ce lieu (Noroît 2017) is the first translation of his selected poems into French. A Child Sees Winter Coming and a Bear Dreams (Wired on Words 2018) is his first book for children.

Ian is the founder of the audio literature label Wired on Words, the monthly Words & Music Show (now in its 19th year), the online magazine, and of Montreal’s annual Mile End Poets’ Festival. He currently collaborates with multiple musicians, works with US artist Sarah Beth Goncarova, and creates and presents voice and music works with the spoken word & dance company For Body and Light ( ). Together they have presented over 80 shows in New York and in every major city in Canada. In 2008 Ian was awarded the Golden Beret, the League of Canadian Poets award for outstanding contributions to spoken word poetry.