Richard-Yves Sitoski is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2022 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, Ontario. He is also the Interim Artistic Director of the Words Aloud festival. He is part of the performance poetry duo O P E N Sound with croc E moses, makes politically charged sound poetry with the Noises ON Collective, and explores the history of Grey County in story, song, and verse with the Métissage Collective. He regularly collaborates with Grey Bruce Pride, SHEATRE and the M'Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre.
His latest book, No Sleep ‘til Eden (Ginger Press) is an augmented reality multimedia collection of poems on the environment. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in many journals, including The Fiddlehead, The Maynard, Barren Magazine, Bywords.ca, in the League of Canadian Poets' Poetry Pause, and as part of Brick Books' Brickyard spoken word video series. In 2018 he was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition and he is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee for his poem, "The Limping Fox".
He has given performances in industrial ruins. has read poems to earth worms, has written verse on snow with biodegradable food dye, and is in the process of composing a garbage opera—a series of songs, poems and noise collages on the topic of trash and pollution. As a side hustle he is a translator for an aerospace firm. He came within 8 years of a PhD in Classical Studies.
As Owen Sound Poet Laureate he runs the monthly Oh!Sound Reading Series and Open Mic on Zoom featuring A-list headline performers, conducts workshops, and works with community groups and the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library.
With his wife Mary he is part of the folk duo Deep Blue Honey, where he makes sounds on guitars that haven’t been heard since the Cretaceous. His cat is thoroughly impossible.
Richard-Yves would like to thank David Madill, CFP of BMO Nesbitt Burns, John Tamming of John Tamming Law, and former Library CEO Andrew Armitage for their generous support of the Poet Laureate program, and the Poet Laureate Advisory Committee and the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library.