photo of stacks (lower floor)

Canadian Literature & Poetry
in English



Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology Armstrong, Jeannette C., and Lalage Grauer, editors Selection of poems from both critically-acclaimed poets and poets whose work has not previously been published. Represents a record of Native cultural revival as it emerged from the 1960s to 2000 as portrayed in the works of Lee Maracle, Rita Joe, Wayne Keon and many others.
The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse Campbell, Wilfred, editor Include early Canadian poets, such as C.D. Shanly and R.A. Faulkner; prominent Confederation poets (Bliss Carman, among others), and women poets (Tekahionwake, also known as E. Pauline Johnson). The anthology provides insight into how early Canada looked and felt to newcomers, evolving attitudes about Canadian identity, and the early canonization of the nation’s literature.
Literary Titans Revisited: the Earle Toppings Interviews with CanLit Poets and Writers of the Sixties Urbancic, Anne, editor In 1969 and 1970, Toppings recorded sixteen prominent Canadian writers and poets, including Margaret Laurence, Sinclair Ross, Hugh Garner, and Al Purdy, captured in in the interviews and accompanying readings, giving insight into their prose and poetry. This book porvides transcripts of the spoken interviews, complemented by brief biographies and bibliographies.
Canadian Poetry from World War I: An Anthology Baetz, Joel, editor A collection of verse from the men and women who experienced the first great war of the twentieth century, which includes Charles G.D. Roberts, Marjorie Pickthall, Helena Coleman, and Robert Service, among many others.
The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry Mason-John, Valerie, and Kevan Anthony, editors The collection documents the historic heritage of Black Canadian poets: George Elliott Clarke, Ian Keteku, Lillian Allen, Afua Cooper, Olive Senior, Frederick Ward, Lorna Goodison, Tanya Evanson, Pamela Mordecai, Harold Head, and many others. The poems in the anthology are derived from oral and written sources.

Digital Collections

Canadian Poetry Online University of Toronto Libraries A collection of poetry from numerous nineteenth and twentieth-century Canadian poets, including Isabella Valancy Crawford, John McCrae, Archibald Lampman, Irving Layton, F.R. Scott, E.J. Pratt, Marjorie Pickthall, Margaret Avison, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Janis Rapoport, and numerous others.
The Canadian Poetry Audio Archives Library and Archives Canada Digitized contemporary recordings of Canada’s most acclaimed poets, reading from their works. The poems are transcribed and are accompanied by images of the poets.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries & Handbooks

The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature Sugars, Cynthia, editor A comprehensive, authoritative guide to many different genres, topics, and aspects of Canadian poetic and literary history, including modernist poetry and the developments in Canadian poetry since 1960.
The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature Kröller, Eva-Marie A comprehensive introduction to major poetms, forms and topics in Canadian poetry.
The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature Howells, Coral Ann and Eva-Marie Kröller, editors A complete English-language history of Canadian writing in English and French from its beginnings, with an emphasis on literary, poetic, and dramatic works published since the 1960s. Analyzes the emergence of multicultural and Indigenous writing, popular literature, nature-writing, life-writing, and the interaction of anglophone and francophone cultures throughout Canadian history.


Canadian Poetry: Index to Criticisms, 1970–1979 Platnick, Phyllis A bilingual bibliography of critical works on English language and French language poets, published in the 1970s. The poets are listed alphabetically with entries for general works on the poet followed by analyses for specific collections of poems, and occasionally, criticism for specific poems.
Modern English-Canadian Poetry: A Guide to Information Sources Stevens, Peter A bibliography that traces the effects of “modernism” on English Canadian poetry of the twentieth century. The early chapters list reference sources including bibliographies, theses, manuscript collections, Canadian poetry journals, critical studies and major anthologies of poems. The next chapters group poets chronologically by flourishing dates, and provide references to publications by individual poets and criticisms of their work.
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History, Poetic Interpretation & Criticism

Measures of Astonishment: Poets on Poetry League of Canadian Poets A collection of lectures by prominent Canadian poets (including Margaret Atwood, Anne Carson, A.F. Moritz, George Elliott Clarke and others) on the form, genre, and the purpose of poetry.
Harsh and Lovely Land: the Major Canadian Poets and the Making of a Canadian Tradition Marshall, Tom Examines the major Canadian poets in four chronological blocks: the Victorian poets “the pioneers,” “the modernists,” “the inheritors,” and the “poet-novelists”. These include Roberts, Carman, Lampman, Campbell Scott, Pratt, Klein, Birney, Layton, LePan, Cohen, Ondaatje, MacEwen, Atwood and Helwig.
Avant Canada: Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries Betts, Gregory, et al., editors A collection of original essays and creative works on a representative array of avant-garde literary movements in Canada from the past fifty years, from the work of Leonard Cohen and bpNichol to that of Jordan Abel and Liz Howard. Also explores intersection of Canadian avant-gardisms and Indigenous decolonization and discusses topics such as the relationship between Canadian and Indigenous literatures, cultural appropriation, gender and the Conceptual Writing movement.
Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry Brandt, Di, and Barbara Godard, editors Presents a revision of the genealogy of Canadian literary modernism by foregrounding the originary and exemplary contribution of women poets, critics, cultural activists, and experimental prose writers Dorothy Livesay, P.K. Page, Miriam Waddington, Phyllis Webb, Elizabeth Brewster, Jay Macpherson, Anne Wilkinson, Anne Marriott, and Elizabeth Smart.
Canadian Poetry: For the Centenary of Margaret Avison (1918– 2007) Kent A., David, editor Numbers 80 and 81 (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2017). A special issue of the journal Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews, published to honour the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Margaret Avison. It contains two essays written by the poet, an introduction by the editor, memoirs, poems, critical analysis of her work and legacy, and an updated bibliography.
Battle Lines: English-Canadian Poetry and the First World War Baetz, Joel Traces the rise and disappearance of Canadian First World War poetry, and offers a striking and comprehensive account of its varied and vexing poetic gestures. The book also focuses on the poetic interpretations of the Canadian soldier. The volume examines the poetry of Helena Coleman, John McCrae, Robert Service, Frank Prewett, and W.W.E. Ross.
Shaping a World Already Made: Landscape and Poetry of the Canadian Prairies Tracie, Carl J. Traci, a cultural geographer, explores how reading poetry influences the way we see the Prairies.

Scholarly Journals

Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents, Reviews no. 1 (1977)–present no. 4 (1979)–present Includes articles on the study of poetry Canada from all regions and periods. Peer-reviewed.
Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review no. 171 (2001)–present no. 1 (1959)–present Includes articles, interviews and commentaries on Canadian writing. Peer-reviewed.
Journal of Canadian Studies vol. 27 (1992)–present vol. 1 (1966)–present Includes articles on a wide range of studies on Canada: literature, arts, architecture, anthropology, community planning, culture, the economy, education, history, Indigenous issues, politics and public affairs, and sociology. Peer-reviewed.

reviewed & updated 20 May 2021 | compiled by Agatha Barc, MI