Poetry is Bad For You

Poetry is Bad For You
Curated by Justin Ducharme

The first time I ever read any creative writing in public I crammed into a small but comfortable community space, anxiously cracked open a $5 beer and stumbled through a set of writing I’d never thought would see the light of day. That community space is nestled on the well travelled thoroughfare that is Kingsway, the Toast Collective – an accessible and community-oriented art and event space serving East Vancouver and home to the POETRY IS BAD FOR YOU reading series, started by Samantha Nock and eirinn mchattie. This reading series has served as a safe-space for first time readers like myself and others I admire to share creative works in a space that feels non-pretentious and genuinely supportive. Stemming from the Poetry is Bad For You season one chapbook, I curated this collection of poems and digitized them to bring some text-based works to the MPCAS and to recognize the work of local poets who contribute to these vital environments that harvest creativity and community with these spaces and initiatives that as we know are far and few between in this city’s ever changing landscape. — Justin Ducharme


Brandi Bird, Manidoobaa, 2017, 4.5 minutes
Aja Moore, winter musings, 2019, 3 minutes
Adrienne Yeung, summer ‘11, 2017, 4.5 minutes
Myles Black, the sentry, 2018, 5.25 minutes
Samantha Nock, Nitotem, 2015, 5.5 minutes
Jane Shi, Treading Water, 2018, 5.5 minutes

Contributor Bios:

Brandi Bird is a Two-Spirit Saulteaux and Cree poet from Treaty 1 territory currently living and learning on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land. Their work has been published in Poetry is Dead, Prism International, The Puritan, Brick, Room Magazine and The Fiddlehead. Their chapbook “I Am Still Too Much” was published with Rahila’s Ghost Press in Spring 2019.

Aja Moore is a reluctant student. Their writing can be found in Peach Mag, Bomb Cyclone, Lemonhead and elsewhere. Her first book hotwheel  is available now through Metatron Press.

Adrienne Yeung (they/she) is a queer, nonbinary, Chinese-Canadian mixed media artist and settler on the ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. You can find their work forthcoming in Room and Carnation Zine, and in print in Ricepaper, Poetry is Bad For You, Oratorealis, Untethered, Whiny Femmes Zine, and Juice Journal, among others.

Myles Black aka pukesword is a settler living on sḵwx̱wú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, & səl̓ílwətaʔɬ territories. He makes music, poetry and videos with a focus on queer love, anxiety and white cis-male accountability. He believes in listening deeply, following BIPOC leadership and watching episodes of Dragon Ball Z until 5 in the morning.

Samantha Nock is a Cree-Metis writer currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her writing has been published in Canadian Art, GUTs Magazine, SAD Mag, Prism International, among others. On top of being a writer, she’s also a jr. web developer, really into Indigenous data sovereignty, plants, and mapping out what radical, decolonial love means to her. You can follow Samantha on instagram @2broke4bingo and on twitter @sammymarie.

Jane Shi is a queer Chinese settler living on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her writing has appeared in Briarpatch Magazine, Canthius, The Malahat Review, PRISM, and Room, among others. She wants to live in a world where love is not a limited resource, land is not mined, hearts are not filched, and bodies are not violated.