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.


Registration now open for our writing retreat with steven price, may 27 & 28, 2017

Check out Planet Earth Poetry’s workshop! a 5-day writing retreat with Jan Zwicky.

may 2017 and a special event on sunday, june 4 

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FRIDAY, May 12, 2017

ulrike narwani &
emily mcgiffin

Of Baltic-German heritage, Ulrike Narwani grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. Spent a decade living in the United States, England, India and Thailand. She and her husband co-wrote a travel memoir Above the Beaten Path detailing their adventures flying a single-engine Cessna 182 into remote corners, virtually around the world. 

Her poetry has been published in Island Writer, CV2, two chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane, and the anthology Poems from Planet Earth. Placed first in FreeFall, was shortlisted in Arc, and received Honourable Mention in Vallum.

Collecting Silence is Ulrike’s debut volume of poetry (Ronsdale Press, 2017). Her poems explore life’s “unbearable weight” and joy; converse with the Pietà, the Mona Lisa and Magritte’s The False Mirror, and travel paths of beauty and alienation from North America to Asia. Always she listens for what sustains and renews us, to the silence in which our deepest experiences talk to us in a “language we all know without speaking.”

Emily McGiffin is the author of two poetry collections, Between Dusk and Night (Brick Books, 2012), which was a finalist for two national awards, and Subduction Zone (Pedlar Press, 2014), which won the 2015 Creative Book Award from the international Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. She has spent the past several years researching the politics and poetics of environmental justice in South Africa and Canada.

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FRIDAY, may 26, 2017

Rhonda Ganz & Shirley graham

Crime fiction, reality tv and bad dreams inform Rhonda Ganz’s poetry, which has appeared in Rattle, The Malahat Review, Room, on city buses and in the anthologies Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry, Poems from Planet Earth, Poet to Poet and Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. A poem of hers was chosen by Harvard Design Magazine for their December 2016 issue “Shelf Life.” She has been a featured reader at Planet Earth Poetry in Victoria, WordStorm in Nanaimo, Word on the Street in Vancouver and at the inaugural Galiano Literary Festival. 

Rhonda Ganz was born in Kenya. She lives in Victoria, B.C., where she works as a graphic designer and editor. She shares a home with one human and varying numbers of cats. She has been known to write poems on the spot for people in hotel lobbies, parks and cemeteries.

“This is Shakespeare played with an orchestra conducted by Lorca. Will said all the world was a stage. Graham shows that he got that a bit wrong. All the stage is a world, and she shows us that the world is a woman’s body talking mirror talk. A tour de force.” —Harold Rhenisch

Shirley Graham has been writing, publishing in literary magazines and giving readings in Canada and the U.S. for three decades. She studied writing and literature at UC Irvine, UCLA, Brown University, the Sorbonne in Paris, and in private workshops with a range of writers, including Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Robert Haas and Mark Strand. Her books include Blue NotesWhat Someone Wanted and Book of Blue. She is a psychologist and lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband, poet Peter Levitt, and son Tai.

Photo by Terence Byrnes

Photo by Terence Byrnes

sunDAY, june 4, 2017

yoko’s dogs on a sunday afternoon

Yoko’s Dogs launch Rhinoceros at a special Planet Earth Poetry event.

The idea for Yoko's Dogs came about in 2006 around a small tin table in Montreal when four poets, living in different places and time zones, got together and decided to explore collaboration as a way of expanding their individual practices. 

Planet Earth Poetry is delighted to have three of the poets from Yoko’s Dogs at this summer Sunday event.

Poet and novelist Mary di Michele is the author of over 12 books, including a selected poems, Stranger in You, and the novel, Tenor of Love. Her awards include the CBC literary competition, the Confederation Poet’s prize, and The Malahat Review’s long poem competition. Luminous Emergencies was short-listed for the Trillium; Debriefing the Rose and The Flower of Youth for the A.M. Klein. She is part of the writing group Yoko’s Dogs with Jane Munro, Susan Gillis, and Jan Conn. Her latest collection of poetry Bicycle Thieves, is forthcoming from ECW, spring 2017.

Mary lives in Montreal and teaches at Concordia.

Jane Munro's poetry has received the Bliss Carman Poetry Award and the Macmillan Prize for Poetry and was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award. Blue Sonoma is her sixth collection, a wise and embodied collection of dreamscapes, sutras and prayer poems from a writer at her peak.

In Blue Sonoma, Munro draws on her well-honed talents to address what Eliot called “the gifts reserved for age.” A beloved partner’s crossing into Alzheimer’s is at the heart of this book, and his “battered blue Sonoma” is an evocation of numerous other crossings: between empirical reportage and meditative apprehension, dreaming and wakefulness, Eastern and Western poetic traditions.

Jan Conn’s ninth book, Tomorrow’s Bright White Light (Tightrope Books) was published in 2016. Previous books include Edge Effects (2012) and Botero’s Beautiful Horses (2009), both from Brick Books. Her poetry has received a CBC Literary Prize, the inaugural P.K. Page Founder’s Award, and was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award. Poems have been included in The Best Canadian Poetry 2009, 2012 and 2014. She is a member of the collaborative writing group Yoko’s Dogs who have published Whisk (Pedlar Press, 2013) and Rhinoceros (Gaspereau, 2016). She is also a biologist, and lives in western Massachusetts.