It’s the 2013 Festival


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The 2013 People’s Poetry Festival kicked off this evening at Pages Books on Kensington! It was a great night of amazing words by Sebastien Wen, Erin Dingle, Andre Prefontaine, Sheri-D Wilson and this year’s Poet of Honour, Dave Eso. But there’s much more to come! We’ll be on the streets of Kensington–and in their pub’s, coffee shops and community hall–Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm, with special events Saturday evening. For full details, see the schedule below.

You can also download the schedule, and the info sheet full of event details and DIY poetry station descriptons here:

PPF 2013 Complete Schedule

PPF 2013 Events, Workshops and DIY Stations

PPF 2013 Schedule Page 1PPF 2013 Schedule Page 2








PPF 2013 Events, Workshops and DIY Stations Page 1PPF 2013 Events, Workshops and DIY Stations Page 2


Join us for an Art Party!


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Join the Art Party

One of our favorite aspects of the annual People’s Poetry Festival is the Poetic Graffiti art walk. Now it’s your turn to come on out and make some Poetic Graffiti to be shown in this year’s festival! Join us Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 at Central Memorial Park from 1:00 to 3:00pm (that’s this weekend!) to create a little art.

We’ll supply the canvas and the paint–we should even have some brushes kicking around!–and of course, the poetry. If you have paint or other supplies–for instance, if you want to do a little multi media piece–then by all means, bring’em along! If you have your own easel (and it’s portable) bring’er down. Or paint on the grass, or a table. It’s all for fun!

Poetry + art = amazing things! See you this weekend at Central Memorial Park, 1:00 to 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

Announcing the 2013 People’s Poetry Festival


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The People's Poetry Festival launches third annual festival in Kensington

You can download the press release here.

It’s the 2013 PPF lineup, schedule and so much more!


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It’s that time you’ve all been waiting for: the reveal of the 2013 PPF lineup, events schedule and all things People’s Poetry Festival!

We’re pleased to have a number of fantastic Calgary arts/culture organizations joining us this year, including Calgary International Spoken Word Festival, RE:act Art & Community Together and Yelp! Calgary.

Returning to The PPF stage this year: 2013 Poet of Honour Dave Eso, Sheri-D Wilson, Andre Prefontaine, Erin Dingle, Richard Harrison, Sebastien Wen, Bob Stallworthy, Midnight Yoga for Alcoholics, Paul Finkleman and more!

For a complete lineup or artists and performers, see our 2013 Poets&Artists page.

For a complete schedule of events, as well as a list of DIY stations and event descriptions, visit our 2013 Festival page.

Questions? Drop us a line:, or hit us up on Twitter: @pplspoetryfest.

See you in Kensington!

Welcome the 2013 Poet of Honour


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We’re pleased to announce Dave Eso as the People’s Poetry Festival 2013 Poet of Honour! Dave has been an active poet with the PPF since we launched in 2011. At last year’s festival, he and colleague, Chris Masson, dazzled festival-goers as Death By Pedestrian, and so it’s with great joy that we welcome Dave back as this year’s Poet of Honour.

Dave Eso writes your instructional manuals by day and his poems by night. His work - full of charm and quirk, humour and terror - unites Canadian literary heritage with it's impending renaissance. He is the curator of two collections of letters, author of 5 "Kids Books for Adults" and wanted on 13, 463 counts of jaywalking -- at home and abroad.

Bio: Dave Eso writes instructional manuals by day, poems by night. His work unites Canadian literary heritage with it’s impending renaissance. He is a curator of letters, a community-builder and literary imp-ass-aria of the rocky mountains. He is wanted on 13, 492 counts of jaywalking and wants to meet you.

Each year, the PPF invites a local poet to be Poet of Honour–an honorary designation similar to an artist in residence. As the featured poet each year, the Poet of Honour (PoH) headlines the PPF kickoff and various events during throughout the weekend. Watch for Dave at the 2013 festival kickoff Friday, August 16; on the outdoor mic Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19; and hosting the ANCHORS AND BOOTSTRAPS workshop Sunday, August 19.

For additional information and a complete schedule of events, visit our 2013 Festival page.

#YahooHaiku 2013


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It’s that time of year again. When the sun and rain are at odds, the corndogs are flowing freely, and everyone digs out their favorite faded plaid shirt. That’s right, friends, it’s Stampede.

Here at The PPF, we have our own way of celebrating The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth–with poetry. From Friday, July 5 until Sunday, July 14, mosey on up to your favorite web-enabled device to share your #yahoohaiku. You can Tweet it to us (@pplspoetryfest, hashtag #yahoohaiku), post it on our Facebook page, or add it as a comment here. Send’em in, and at the end of the festivities, we’ll hand out some lovely prizes for your troubles.

You can write about the belt buckles, the chuckwagons, or everyone’s favorite–those little donuts. But whatever you do, make sure it’s haiku:

the ground has thundered
horses gallop past the crowd
the chuck heat is on

- 2011 winning submission by @lonnietaylor

See you at The Grandstand!

We didn’t win Awesome Calgary, but…


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… you can still help make sure that the 2013 People’s Poetry Festival happens! As a registered not for profit that relies entirely on the support and dedication of our volunteers, we also rely on grants and generous donations to make the festival a reality each August. Things like:

  • Buying supplies for our Do-It-Yourself poetry stations, including scissors, glue, paper, pencils and various art supplies; yarn for poetry bombs; and typewriter ribbon
  • Buying supplies to create poetic graffiti, such as canvas, paint, brushes, paper and other multimedia art supplies
  • Covering various advertising costs, including printing and distributing posters
  • Operational costs, like our annual website fee, monthly banking costs, providing food and beverages at our opening event–and to feed our volunteers over the weekend. They work hard!–and membership with organizations like Volunteer Calgary
  • Equipment costs, such as renting sound equipment for our outdoor open mic, and finding tables, chairs, couches, easles and the like for our DIY poetry stations, outdoor lounge and poetic graffiti art walk
  • Additional event costs, like booking a venue for our afterhours Cabaret
  • Keeping the festival FREE and accessible (except for a handful of adult-only events, that have a suggested $5 donation at the door)
  • And most importantly, thanking our poets, artists and performers by providing them with a modest honorarium

We love to share poetry with you–online, on the streets, in the coffee shops and everywhere we can get it. But our poets, artists, performers and volunteers work hard to make it happen. We want to be able to continue to share poetry with you, but we also want to thank these individuals for their continued dedication and support. As any poet will tell you, poetry doesn’t often pay particularly well. And we want to show our poets, artists and performers the same support they show us each and every year. For that, we need your help.

Now, it’s even easier to support The People’s Poetry Festival by making a donation online. If you love us, we’d appreciate your support by clicking the button below and helping us continue to do what we love! Thank you!

Thank you Calgary Reads!


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We had so much fun at the CBC Calgary Reads book sale last weekend! We kicked off our participation on Wednesday, May 8 at the Calgary Reads “Spread the Word” volunteer event–a night to thank Calgary Reads volunteers by giving them first crack at the book sale. And the entertainment, which include Calgary’s Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, the a cappella group, The Heebee-Jeebee’s, and two of PPF’s favorite poets–Wakefield Brewster (2011 Poet of Honour, 2012) and Erin Dingle (2011, 2012)!

We spent the weekend of May 10 to 12 surrounded by books and book lovers; what more could we ask for? And our new friends at Calgary Reads took such great care of us, thanks again for inviting us to take part in your fantastic event! We had a table set up in the middle of the annual book sale where young and old alike stopped by to make–or take–a poetry bomb (including special edition Mother’s Day poetry bombs!), write a letter to add to our new Poetree, color a Shakespeare, hear a bit of Silverstein or Seuss, and more!

Did you know? Calgary Reads isn’t just the largest used book sale in town. They’re all about early literacy. According to their website:

25% of Canadian children entering grade 2 today are already significantly behind their peers in literacy and learning skills. With early intervention in grades 1 and 2, most struggling young readers can catch up. Research indicates there is an ideal window of opportunity (Kindergarten to Grade 2) in which a student’s basic literacy skills must be developed. Children most at risk often require consistent individual attention from trained adults, in addition to strong classroom literacy programs. Calgary Reads works within this window of opportunity.

Calgary Reads is also taking steps to educate the importance of language through reading, singing, playing and talking, as building blocks to literacy, for newborns through to kindergarten. Realizing that literacy starts with language means realizing that even a toddler or preschooler is getting ready to read.

It was a pleasure to take part and help support this great organization!

A massive used book sale!

A massive used book sale!

A leaft for the Poetree

A leaft for the Poetree

Our lovely setup, complete with blooming Poetree

Our lovely setup, complete with blooming Poetree

The poetry section, located conveniently close to our location

The poetry section, located conveniently close to our location

Mother's Day poetry bombs for all!

Mother’s Day poetry bombs for all!

The latest PPF projecet, in honor of Calgary Reads--altered book poetry

The latest PPF projecet, in honor of Calgary Reads–altered book poetry

Awesome Calgary, here we come!


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We’re thrilled and honoured to be invited back as an Awesome Calgary Foundation Top Four finalist for the third year! Join us at one of our favorite hangouts–Endeavor Arts Gallery, #200 1209 First Street SW–TOMORROW, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm; show starts at 6:30) as we pitch for our chance to win $1000 to fund this years’ festival!


Calgary Reads and Timeraiser, oh my!


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It’s been a busy few months over here at PPF central. We’ve been working with a lot of great groups to make this year’s festival even better than the last! Not only did we recently host a fantastic poetry bomb-making workshop at Caffe Rosso with our friends at Yelp! Calgary, but we’re thrilled to announce two more special events!

Calgary Reads
The 11th annual Calgary Reads–Calgary’s largest used book sale–returns Friday, May 10 to Sunday, May 12 at the Calgary Curling Club, 720 3rd St. NW. This year, Calgary Reads is paying special attention to everyone’s favorite rhyming (or not rhyming) literary artform: Poetry! Representatives from the PPF will be on-site during all three days of the sale to share a little poetry at one of our DIY Poetry Stations. And what did you think all those poetry bombs were for? Come on down and make one yourself or grab one for a friend!

The book sale runs all weekend:
Friday, May 10 Noon to 8pm
Saturday, May 11 9am to 6pm
Sunday, May 12 9am to 4pm
Admission: $2 for adults; kids are free!
You can find out more online: and on Twitter: @CalgaryReads, or follow the hashtag #calgaryreads for updates.

We’ll also be helping out at the Calgary Reads volunteer appreciation night on Wednesday, May 8. PPF alumni Wakefield Brewster (2011 Poet of Honour), Erin Dingle (2011, 2012) and Bryan McLean (2011, 2012) will take the mic along side Calgary’s own Poet Laureate, Kris Demeanor, and the Heebee-jeebees to celebrate the many fanastic volunteers who make Calgary Reads a success each year. Speaking of volunteers…

Calgary Timeraiser
We’re thrilled to be taking part in the 8th annual Calgary Timerasier! The yearly event, held at Flames Central (219 8 Ave SW on Stephen Avenue), matches interested inviduals with volunteer opportunities. And we’ve got lots of volunteer opportunities! This year, the PPF is looking to fill a number of roles: volunteer coordinator, treasurer, fund development coordinator, archivist, equipment manager, technical assistant, and a variety of special event volunteers. Volunteers place silent aution bids on locally-created works of art, but instead of bidding with their money, they bid their time. This year, we’re excited to be one of the many fantastic not-for-profit organizations auctioning off a work of art and a volunteer position.

The 2012 Timeraiser takes place Thursday, June 13, and tickets to attend go on sale tomorrow (May 1):

  • 7:00 pm Doors Open to public
  • 7:05 pm Volunteer Matching Begins
  • 8:00 pm Bidding Begins
  • 8:30 pm Past Winners Acknowledged
  • 9:00 pm Bidding Ends
  • 9:30 pm Hours Announced

For more information, visit, or follow on Twitter, @timeraiseryyc or the hashtag #timeraiseryyc. In the meantime, if you–or someone you know–is interested in volunteering with PPF, visit our Volunteer page for more information and to submit an application.


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