Canadian Literature and Poetry in English

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Black Canadian Literature & Poetry

African-Canadian and Caribbean-Canadian Literatures & Poetry: Anthologies

Black Writers Matter
French, Whitney, editor

An anthology of African-Canadian writing, it offers a cross-section of established writers and newcomers to the literary world who tackle contemporary and pressing issues with prose.

All contributions are written from the first-person perspectve and include writings by Simone Makeba Dalton, Cason Sharpe, Rowan McCandless, Phillip Dwight Morgan, Fatuma Adar, Whitney French, Christina Brobby, and others.

Available Online

PR9194.5 .B55 B53 2019

Revival: An Anthology of Black Canadian Writing
Bailey Nurse, Donna, editor
PR9194.5 .B55 R48 2006
Eyeing the North Star: Directions in African-Canadian Literature
Clarke, George Elliott, editor
PR9194.5 .B55 E93 1997
In the Black: New African Canadian Literature
Prince, Althea, editor

In a mix of short fiction, poetry, dub poetry and hip hop, some of Black Canada’s foremost writers from across generations explore history, community, love, and healing.

The collection includes writing from Catherine Bain, George Elliott Clarke, Gayle Gonsalves, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Clifton Joseph, Dwayne Morgan, Motion, Jelani Nias (J-Wyze), Djanet Sears, Mansa Trotman, and the editor, Althea Prince.

PS8235 .B5 I5 2012
Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora and Black Studies
Walcott, Rinaldo

The essays question what it means to live in a multicultural society, how diaspora impacts identity and culture and how the categories of queer and Black and Black queer complicate the political claims of multiculturalism, diaspora and queer politics.

HQ76.25 .W36 2016
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.

PR9194.5 .B55 G74 2013
The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology
Vernon, Karina, editor

An comprehensive anthology of fiction and nonfiction writings by Black authors from the Prairies, from nineteenthth-century fur traders and pioneers to avant-garde writers of the present day.

Includes correspondence, memoirs, excerpts from autobiographies, political treatises and writings, photographs, interviews, short stories, poems and other types of writing from Daniel T. Williams, Mildred Jane Lewis Ware, George Washington Slater, Jr. Lawrence Hill, Esi Edugyan, Miranda Martini, and other contributors.

Available Online

PR9194.5 .B55 B527 2020

The Black Notes: Fresh Writing by Black Women and Girls
Prince, Althea, editor

A collection consising of stories and poems written by twenty Black women and girls.

PR9194.5 .W6 B53 2017
Nine Black Women: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Writers from the United States, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean
Ferguson, Moira, editor


Available Online

History & Interpretation

Odysseys Home: Mapping African-Canadian Literature
Clarke, George Elliott

Presents a history of the African-Canadian literature and oral cultures, identifies African-Canadian literature’s distinguishing characteristics, argues for its relevance to both African Diasporic Black and Canadian Studies, and critiques several of its key creators and texts.

Authors whose work is examined in the book are André Alexis, Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, Claire Harris, and M. Nourbese Philip.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .B57 C56 2002

Directions Home: Approaches to African-Canadian Literature
Clarke, George Elliott

Building on the discoveries of his critically acclaimed Odysseys Home, Clarke showcases the importance of little-known texts, including church histories and slave narratives, and offers studies of autobiography, crime and punishment, jazz poetics, and musical composition.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .B57 C55 2012

Blackening Canada: Diaspora, Race, Multiculturalism
Barrett, Paul

Focusing on the work of Black, diasporic writers in Canada, (including Dionne Brand, Austin Clarke, and Tessa McWatt), the author investigates the manner in which literature can transform conceptions of nation and diaspora through a consideration of literary representation, public discourse, and the language of political protest.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .B57 B38 2015

Black Like Who? Writing Black Canada
Walcott, Rinaldo

By examining hip-hop, film, literature, social unrest, sports, music and the electronic media, Walcott assesses the role of Black Canadians in defining Canada and also argues critically against any notion of an essentialist Canadian Black identity.

Available Online

F1035 .N3 W34 2003

The Past Is Present: the African-Canadian Experience in Lawrence Hill’s Fiction
Krampe, Christian J.

A comprehensive analysis of Hill’s historical fictions.

PR9199.3 .H5349 Z74 2012
Why We Write: Conversations with African Canadian Poets and Novelists: Interviews
Thomas, H. Nigel, editor

African Canadian creative writers discuss the complexities of the writing experience.

Includes interviews with: Ayanna Black, Austin Clarke, George Elliot Clarke, Wayde Compton, Afua Cooper, Bernadette Dyer, Cecil Foster, Claire Harris, Lawrence Hill, Nalo Hopkinson, Suzette Mayr, Pamela Mordecai, M. NourbeSe Philip, Althea Prince, and Robert Sandiford.

PR9194.5 .B55 W49 2006
Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada
McWatt, Tessa, et al., editors

A collection of original pieces by some of Canada’s best known writers. The essays ask, and attempt to answer, what it means to be a writer in Canada, what the literature of today can tell us about Canada’s social arrangements, its political and aesthetic shapes, and its preoccupations.

Contributors include Margaret Atwood, George Elliott Clarke, Camilla Gibb, Rawi Hage, Lawrence Hill, Greg Hollingshead, Lee Maracle, Lisa Moore, Michael Ondaatje, Marie-Helaine Poitras, Pascale Quiviger, Nino Ricci, Eden Robinson, Madeleine Thien, Judith Thompson, M.G. Vassanji, Rita Wong, and others.

PR9184.6 .L86 2018
“Canada in Black Transnational Studies: Austin Clarke, Affective Affiliations, and the Cross-Border Poetics of Caribbean Canadian Writing”
Bucknor, Michael A.

This chapter in Beyond Understanding Canada: Transnational Perspectives on Canadian Literature, examines Caribbean-Canadian writing within the larger context of “black transational space.”

Available Online

PR9184.3 .B39 2017

Beyond the Canebrakes: Caribbean Women Writers in Canada
Williams, Emily A.

Essays and interviews that examine the work of West-Indian women writers living in Canada.

The essays examine the work of literary artists Claire Harris, Olive Senior, Lillian Allen, Afua Cooper, Dionne Brand, M. Nourbese Philip, Nalo Hopkinson, Pamela Mordecai, and Makeda Silvera as an integral not marginal element of the Canadian and world literature canons.

PR9188.2 .C37 B49 2008
Settling Down and Settling Up: The Second Generation in Black Canadian and Black British Women’s Writing
Medovarski, Andrea Katherine

Comparing second generation children of immigrants in Black Canadian and Black British women’s writing, the book extends discourses of diaspora and postcolonialism by expanding recent theory on movement and border crossing.

Considering migration and settlement as complex, interrelated processes that inform each other across multiple generations and geographies, Medovarski challenges the gendered constructions of nationhood and diaspora with a particular focus on Canadian and British black women writers, including Dionne Brand, Esi Edugyan, and Zadie Smith.

Available Online

PR120 .B55 M43 2019

Biographies & Memoirs

Disorientation: Being Black in the World
Williams, Ian

Inspired by the essays of James Baldwin, Williams explores such topics as the characteristics of institutional whiteness, the importance of friendship in the struggle against racism, the meaning and uses of a Black person’s smile, and blame culture.

PR9199.4 .W5448 D57 2021
Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada
Hill, Lawrence

Hill reveals his struggle to understand his own personal and racial identity. He describes the ambiguity involved in searching for his identity.

PR9199.3 .H5349 Z47 2001


Caribbean and South-Asian Writers in Canada: A Bibliography of Their Works and of English-Language Criticism
Kandiuk, Mary

Brief biographies, chronological list of fiction books, parts of books, periodical articles, book reviews, and dissertations that critique the work of selected writers from the Caribbean or South Asia and have resided in Canada for at least part of their writing careers.

The authors included in the bibliography are André Alexis, Austin C. Clarke, M.G. Vassanji and many others.

Z1376 .C37 K36 2007
A Black Canadian Bibliography
Francis, Flora Blizzard

A bibliography of works by and about the diverse peoples of African descent living in Canada. It includes references to creative literary works.

Z1395 .N39 F73 2000
Literary Writings by [Black People] in Canada: A Preliminary Survey
Elliot, Lorris and Michael S. Batts, editor

The profiles in this pamphlet were compiled between 1979– 1986 so it does not reflect the current scholarship. Gives a brief biography of each author followed by a list of publications.

Z1377 .B62 E44

reviewed & updated 26 October 2023 | compiled by Agatha Barc

Last updated: October 27, 2023