photo of stacks (lower floor)

Canadian Literature & Poetry
in English

Women’s Writing


Women’s Writing in Canada Demers, Patricia, editor A comprehensive anthology containing excerpts from fiction, filmmaking, poetry, song-writing, drama, and non-fiction, memoirs, autobiographies, comic books, and cookbooks. The works in the anthology were selected to illustrate disruptive feminist practices that transformed cultural life in Canada and the tensions of colonial society.
Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry Manuel, Vera, and Coupal, Michelle, et al., editors This critical edition delivers a comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Manuel was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of the residential schools, Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing.
My Home as I Remember Maracle, Lee, and Sandra Laronde, editors An edited anthology comprising poetry, short stories, and artwork created by First Nations, Inuit and Métis women across Canada and the United States, including contributions from New Zealand and Mexico.
Nine Black Women: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Writers from the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean Ferguson, Moira, editor
Early Voices: Portraits of Canada by Women Writers, 1639– 1914 Downie, Mary A. et al, editors A collection of first-person accounts of women’s experiences of Canada, representing a multitude of Canadian regions, national origins, and social classes. Includes writings by Anna Brownell Jameson, Catharine Parr Traill, Emily Carr as well as lesser known names.
The Penguin Book of Contemporary Canadian Women’s Short Stories Moore, Lisa, editor Includes stories published between the 1980s and the early twenty-first century from Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, Mavis Gallant, Jane Urquhart, Jacqueline Baker, Bonnie Burnard, Lynn Coady, Camilla Gibb, Eden Robinson, and Madeleine Thien.
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.
Sexing the Maple: A Canadian Sourcebook Dickinson, Peter, and Richard Cavell, editors A sourcebook that raises issues of nationalism and sexuality in Canada through a rich and diverse selection of fiction, poetry, criticism, and history. The collection considers topics as wide-ranging as First Nations sexuality, censorship, assisted reproduction, and religion. It contains literary works by Alice Munro, Jane Rule, Timothy Findley, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, Lynn Crosbie, Michael Turner, and many others.

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, Marjorie Pickthall, Margaret Avison, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Janis Rapoport, and numerous others.
North American Women’s Drama Alexander Street Press 102 full-text plays by Canadian writers: Carol Bolt, Sharon Pollock, Rachel Wyatt, and others.
North American Women’s Letters and Diaries: Colonial to 1950 Alexander Street Press Twenty-seven diaries and other types of writing from Susanna Moodie, Letitia MacTavish Hargrave, Catherine Parr Traill, and others.

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 literary history, including the influence of literature on the Canadian national identity, authorship, postcolonialism, short story, drama, poetry, Indigenous literatures, women’s writing, children’s literature, gay and lesbian literature, creative work from the Confederation period, regional fiction, and minority writers.
The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature Kröller, Eva-Marie A comprehensive introduction to major writers, genres and topics in Canadian literature: fiction, drama, and poetry, Aboriginal writing, autobiography, literary criticism, writing by women, urban writing, nature-writing, exploration and travel-writing, and short fiction.
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 history of women’ writing, Indigenous writing, the emergence of multicultural literatures, popular literature, nature-writing, life-writing, and the interaction of anglophone and francophone cultures throughout Canadian history.

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