Canadian Literature & Poetry in English

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How to Use This Research Guide

Intended Audience of the Guide

The research guide is intended for undergraduate students conducting research on Canadian literature, poetry, and drama in English. Students researching women’s history and book and publishing history in Canada will also find the resources listed here useful.

The guide consists of a series of annotated bibliographies, which contain books and other publications on literary analysis and criticism. Selected online resources containing full-text literary and poetic works are also included.

This research tool was originally compiled by librarians Irene Dutton and Alison Girling. It is currently maintained by Agatha Barc, Reader Services and Instruction Librarian.


The bibliographies are organized on the left side of the guide by specific subjects, themes, and categories in the study of Canadian literature. They are based in part on the arrangement of The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature, edited by Eva-Marie Kröller (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Criteria for Selecting the Sources Included in the Guide

The annotated sources described in the bibliographies are highly selective, and they have been chosen based on their scholarly quality, currency, and overall contributions to Canadian literary and poetic criticism and scholarship. Most of the titles are drawn from the collections of the library.

Types of Sources in the Guide

This guide includes many different types of published and unpublished sources, which you will encounter in the course of conducting your research. It is important to know what they are, as each kind of publication serves specific research needs and purposes.

Anthologies are edited collections of texts with a common characteristic such as subject matter or literary form: An Anthology of Canadian Literature in English.

Bibliographies are alphabetical lists of books and other publications on a specific subject or by a particular author or publisher:The Annotated Bibliography of Canada’s Major Authors.

Dictionaries provide concise, authoritative definitions of unfamiliar names and terms in a specific field in the alphabetical order: A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles.

Digital collections contain digitized photographs, texts (including publications and unpublished primary source materials, such as diaries and correspondence), and audio files that are catalogued and accessible online: Marjorie Pickthall Digital Collection.

Encyclopedias include comprehensive entries, arranged alphabetically and authored by experts, with bibliographies or works cited lists on different aspects of a specific subject: Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada.

Handbooks contain chapters, arranged thematically, representing the latest scholarly trends on a specific topic: The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature.

Journals include research articles and book reviews, authored by scholars and published by learned societies, university presses, and academic publishers: Canadian Literature. Literary journals publish original poetry and prose: The Malahat Review.

Special collections contains unpublished primary sources (diaries, correspondence, photographs and other materials) and published primary and secondary sources on a particular individual or topic: E.J. Pratt collection). Digitized materials from special collections are digital collections .

reviewed & updated 11 February 2024 | compiled by Agatha Barc

Last updated: February 10, 2024