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About

Richard-Yves Sitoski is a songwriter, performance poet, and the 2019-2023 Poet Laureate of Owen Sound, Ontario. He is also the Artistic Director of the Words Aloud festival. He regularly collaborates with Grey Bruce Pride, SHEATRE and the M'Wikwedong Indigenous Friendship Centre. 


His most recent project is the semi-autobiographical stage show and accompanying book, Butterfly Tongue. He is the 2nd place winner of the 2022 Don Gutteridge Award for his full-length manuscript Wait, What?, which is out with Wet Ink Books. His newest collection, A Current Through the Flesh, is coming out in the fall of 2023 with Mansfield Press. He won the 2021 John Newlove award for his poem "Air Kiss", and the resulting chapbook, How to Be Human, is out with Bywords.ca.

In 2022 with Penn Kemp he co-edited Poems in Response to Peril, an anthology of poems in support of Ukraine. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to PEN Ukraine. See this site for details.

 

His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in many journals, including The Fiddlehead, Arc, CAROUSEL, Prairie Fire, QWERTY, The Windsor Review, 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. He is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee for his poem, "The Limping Fox".

As Owen Sound Poet Laureate, he has given performances in industrial ruins. has read poems to earth worms, and has written verse on snow with biodegradable dye. He also runs the monthly Oh!Sound Reading Series and Open Mic 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.

 

Fun fact: he came within 8 years of a PhD in Classical Studies.

Laureateship

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. 

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