Canadian Literature and Poetry in English

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Indigenous Literatures

Indigenous Stories & Literatures: Anthologies, History & Criticism

Read, Listen, Tell: Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island
McCall, Sophie, et al., editors

A range of Indigenous stories from across Turtle Island (North America): short fiction, narratives, illustrated stories, and personal essays. This collection explores core concepts in Indigenous literary expression, such as the relations between land, language, and community.

Available Online

PR9185.6 .I53 R43 2017

From Oral to Written: A Celebration of Indigenous Literature in Canada, 1980–2010
Highway, Tomson

A study of Native literature published in Canada between 1980 and 2010, written in multiple Aboriginal languages, in French, and in English by the members of the Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii to the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.

PR9188.2 .I54 H54 2017
Kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly
Archibald-Barber, Jesse Rae, editor

Rich oral narratives from Cree, Saulteaux, Nakoda, Dakota, Dene, and Metis cultures, early writings from Cree missionaries, speeches and letters by Treaty Chiefs, stories from elders, archival discoveries, and contemporary literary works in all genres.

Historically and culturally comprehensive, voices include Big Bear, Thunderchild, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Edward Ahenakew, Maria Campbell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rita Bouvier, Harold Johnson, Gregory Scofield, Warren Cariou, Louise Halfe, and many more.

Available Online

PR9194.5 .I5 K57 2018

Ákaitsinikssiisti: Blackfoot Stories of Old
Genee, Piitáákii Inge, et al., editors

Eight Blackfoot stories told by Lena Russell, a fluent speaker of Blackfoot from the Kainai (Blood) reserve in southern Alberta.

PM2344 .A2 R87 2014
Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex
Saladin, d’Anglure Bernard

An in-depth, paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of stories on womb memories, birth, namesaking, and reincarnation.

Available Online

E99 .E7 S23513 2018

Bawaajigan: Stories of Power
Adler, Nathan Niigan Noodin, and Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, editors

A collection of Gothic and horror short stories by First-Nations authors.

Contributors are Richard Van Camp, Lee Maracle, Katie-Jo Rabbit, Autumn Bernhardt, Brittany Johnson, Gord Grisenthwaite, Joanne Arnott, Délani Valin, Cathy Smith, David Geary, Yugcetun Anderson, Gerald Silliker Pisim Maskwa, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Sara General, Wendy Bone, Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler, and Karen Lee White.

PN6120.95 .D67 B5 2019
Tekahionwake: E. Pauline Johnson’s Writings on Native North America
Fee, Margery and Dory Nason, editors

A diverse range of Johnson’s writings on what was then called “the Indian question” and on the question of her own complex Indigenous identity.

Six thematic sections gather Johnson’s poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and a rich selection of historical appendices provide context for her public life and her work as a feminist and activist for Indigenous people.

PR9199.3 .J6 A6 2016
Omushkego Oral History Project
Bird, Louis

A library of recordings of legends, mystery stories, and oral history of the Omushkegowak or “Swampy Cree” people of the Hudson and James Bay Lowlands of northern Manitoba and Ontario.

Available Online
Why Indigenous Literatures Matter
Justice, Daniel Heath

Part survey of the field of indigenous literary studies, part cultural history, and part literary polemic, this book asserts the vital significance of literary expression to the political, creative, and intellectual efforts of Indigenous Peoples today.

Available Online

PS153 .I52 J878 2018

Introduction to Indigenous Literary Criticism in Canada
Macfarlane, Heather and Armand Garnet Ruffo, editors

The essays in this volume explore issues that mark the study of Indigenous literature: appropriation of voice, stereotyping, traditional knowledge, language, land, spirituality, orality, colonialism, post-colonialism, gender, hybridity, authenticity, resistance, and ethical scholarship.

PR9194.5 .I5 I58 2015
Literatures, Communities, and Learning: Conversations with Indigenous Writers
Hanson, Aubrey Jean

A collection of conversations with Richard Van Camp, Lee Maracle, Daniel Heath Justice, Marilyn Dumont, and others. They centre on the writers’ concerns, critiques, and craft, and how they navigate the challenge of storying their communities in politically charged terrain.

The topics explored in the interviews include discourses of Indigenization, reconciliation, appropriation, and representation, as well as Indigenous publishing and literary studies.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .I54 H36 2020

Literary Land Claims: The “Indian Land Question” from Pontiac’s War to Attawapiskat
Fee, Margery

Examines John Richardson’s novels about Pontiacs War and the War of 1812 that document the breaking of British promises to Indigenous nations.

Available Online

PR9185.6 .I53 F43 2015

The Power of Story: On Truth, the Trickster, and New Fictions
for a New Era

Johnson, Harold

Award-winning Indigenous author Harold R. Johnson discusses the promise and potential of storytelling. He explains the role of storytelling in every aspect of human life, from personal identity to history and the social contracts that structure our societies.

Available Online

P96 .S78 J64 2022

Activating the Heart: Storytelling, Knowledge Sharing, and Relationship
Christensen, Julia, et al., editors

An exploration of storytelling as a tool for knowledge production and sharing to build new connections between people and their histories, environments, and cultural geographies.

The collection pays particular attention to the significance of storytelling in Indigenous knowledge frameworks and extends into other ways of knowing in works where scholars have embraced narrative and story as a part of their research approach.

Available Online

P302.7 .A28 2018

Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures
Reder, Deanna and Linda M. Morra, editors

Organized into five subject areas: Position, the necessity of considering where you come from and who you are; Imagining Beyond Images and Myths, a history and critique of circulating images of Indigenousness; Debating Indigenous Literary Approaches; Contemporary Concerns, a consideration of relevant issues; and finally Classroom Considerations, pedagogical concerns particular to the field.

Each section is introduced by an essay that orients the reader and provides ideological context.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .I54 L43 2016

Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential School
McKegney, Sam

A major survey of Indigenous writings on the residential school system: Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq) and Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit), Basil Johnston (Ojibway), and Tomson Highway (Cree).

Available Online

E96.2 .M34 2007

Taking Back Our Spirits: Indigenous Literature, Public Policy and Healing
Espikenew, Jo-Ann

Analyzes contemporary autobiography, fiction, and drama to reveal how these texts respond to and critique public policy, and how literature functions as medicine to help cure the suffering inflicted by the colonial legacy.

Available Online

PR9194.5 .I5 E65 2009

The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative
King, Thomas
PR9199.3 .K44177 T77 2003
(Ad)dressing Our Words: Aboriginal Perspectives on Aboriginal Literatures
Ruffo, Armand G., editor

A critical anthology of essays by Aboriginal academics provides an in-depth analysis of literature by Aboriginal authors.

The contributors study the works of their peers with an insightful understanding of the significance of contemporary literature within Aboriginal cultural paradigms.

PS8089.5 .I6 A32 2001
Looking at the Words of Our People: First Nations Analysis of Literature
Armstrong, Jeannette, compiler

The first collection in Canada of literary analysis on Native Literature written by First-Nations scholars. The book includes reviews, poetry analysis, overviews of Native literatures. The contributors are Marilyn Dumont and Kimberly Blaeser, among other writers.

PR9188.2 .I5 L66 1993
Troubling Tricksters: Revisioning Critical Conversations
Morra, Linda M., and Deanna Reder, editors

A collection of theoretical essays, articles, interviews, fiction, personal essays, poems, and stories that provide a revisioning of trickster criticism.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .I54 T76 2010

When the Other is Me: Native Resistance Discourse 1850– 1990
LaRocque, Emma

An interdisciplinary study of the Native literary response to racist writing in the Canadian historical and literary record from 1850 to 1990.

Available Online

E78 .C2 L3733 2010

The Homing Place: Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic
Bryant, Rachel

Bryant explores how colonized and Indigenous environments occupy the same given geographical coordinates even while existing in distinct epistemological worlds through the analysis of a wide range of northeastern texts, including Puritan captivity narratives, Wabanaki wampum belts, and contemporary Innu poetry.

Available Online

PR9184.3 .B79 2017

Unhomely States: Theorizing English-Canadian Postcolonialism
Sugars, Cynthia C., editor

An excellent critical introduction to the place of postcolonial theory in Canadian literary criticism. Includes essays by George Grant, Northrop Frye, Margaret Atwood, Dennis Lee, Robert Kroetsch, Linda Hutcheon, Diana Brydon, Thomas King, Terry Goldie, Arun Mukherjee, Smaro Kamboureli, Stephen Slemon, and Roy Miki.

PR9189.6 .U5 2004
Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora, and Indigeneity in Canada
McCall, Sophie, et al., editors

Considers how the terms of critical debate in literary and cultural studies in Canada have shifted with respect to matters of race, nation, and difference.

Available Online

PR9188.2 .M55 C84 2011

Tropes and Territories: Short Fiction, Postcolonial Readings, Canadian Writing in Context
Dvořák, Marta and W.H. New, editors

Analyzes the influence of postcolonial criticism on the reading, writing, and status of short fiction: Métis narratives, Maori myth, and stories by Thomas King, Alice Munro, Salman Rushdie, Alistair MacLeod, Mavis Gallant, and Emily Carr.

Available Online

PR9084 .T76 2007

Listening to Old Woman Speak: Natives and Alter Natives in Canadian Literature
Groening, Laura

Examines the historical context of the portrayal of Native characters in Canadian literature, including the prose of Anna Jameson and Susanna Moodie and the poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott.

Available Online

PR9185.6 .I53 G76 2004

Transatlantic Upper Canada: Portraits in Literature, Land, and British-Indigenous Relations
Hutchings, Kevin

Examines the writings of Haudenosaunee leaders John Norton and John Brant and Anishinabeg authors Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Peter Jones, and George Copway, as well as European figures John Beverley Robinson, John Strachan, Anna Brownell Jameson, and Sir Francis Bond Head.

Hutchings argues that, despite their cultural differences, many factors connected these writers, including shared literary interests, cross-Atlantic journeys, metropolitan experiences, mutual acquaintance, and engagement in ongoing dialogue over Indigenous territory and governance.

Available Online

PR9185.2 .H88 2020

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
Here is Queer: Nationalisms, Sexualities and the Literatures of Canada
Dickinson, Peter

Considers how the interconnected concepts of nationalism and sexuality have helped shape the production and reception of Canadian and First-Nations literatures.

PR9185.5 .H6 D52 1999
Northern Experience and the Myths of Canadian Culture
Hulan, Renée

An investigation of the idea of the “North” as an element of Canada’s national identity and the development of this theme in Canadian culture and Canadian literature.

Available Online

PR9185.5 .N67H84 2002

Echoing Silence: Essays on Arctic Narrative
Moss, John, editor

In this 1995 symposium on Arctic narrative, storytellers, politicians and academics assembled at the University of Ottawa to celebrate the Arctic’s folk customs, its landscape and its literary traditions.

The essays present northern legends, accounts of the Franklin Expeditions, the oral narrative traditions and the interaction between the southern and northern Canadian cultures.

Available Online

PR9185.5 .A7E34 1997

Far off Metal River: Inuit Lands, Settler Stories, and the Making of the Contemporary Arctic
Cameron, Emilie

Explores how Samuel Hearne’s account of the Bloody Falls massacre has shaped the ongoing colonization and economic exploitation of the North.

Available Online

E99 .E7 C2177 2015

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 Indigenous literatures, poetry, oral traditions, Métis literature, and Indigenous women’s writing.

Available Online

PR9180.2 .O95 2016

The Cambridge Companion to Canadian Literature
Kröller, Eva-Marie

A comprehensive introduction to major writers, genres and topics in Canadian literature, including Indigenous writing.

Available Online

PR9184.3 .C34 2017


The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature
Howells, Coral Ann and Eva-Marie Kröller, editors

A complete history of Canadian writing from its beginnings, including Indigenous literatures and poetry.

Available Online

PR9184.6 .C26 2009

Canadian Literature
Hammill, Faye

Critical study of Canadian literature, placing internationally successful Canadian authors in the context of their national literary history.

While the focus of the book is on twentieth-century and contemporary writing, it also charts the historical development of Canadian literature and discusses important eighteenth- and nineteenth-century authors.

The chapters focus on four central topics in Canadian culture: colonization, race, ethnicity; wildernesses, cities, regions; desire; and histories and stories. Authors chosen for close analysis include Thomas King, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Alice Munro, Leonard Cohen, and Carol Shields.

PR9189.6 .H36 2007
Canadian Literature at the Crossroads of Language and Culture: Selected Essays by Barbara Godard, 1987–2005
Godard, Barbara

Godard is recognized as one of the most influential scholars in the area of Canadian Studies. This anthology of her collected essays includes “The Politics of Representation: Some Native Canadian Women Writers,” first published in 1990.

PR9193.5 .G63 2008
Native North American Literature: Biographical and Critical Information on Native Writers and Orators from the United States and Canada from Historical Times to the Present
Witalec, Janet et al., editors

Part I, “Native American Oral Literatures,” examines different aspects of oral literatures, such as oratory, the trickster, dreams and songs, and revitalization movements.

Part II, “The Historical Emergence of Native American Writing,” is federal government policy, autobiography, women’s autobiography, and humour.

Part III, “A Native American Renaissance: 1967 to the Present,” studies critical responses to Native American literature, approaches to teaching, the literature of Canada, fiction, theatre, and the depiction of Native characters in Anglo-American literature.

Coverage of both historical and contemporary Canadian First Nations writers and poets: Beth Brant, Maria Campbell, Peter Blue Cloud, Tomson Highway, Basil H. Johnston, E. Pauline Johnson, Peter Jones, Lee Maracle, Thomas King, Markoosie, Beatrice Culleton Monsier, Daniel David Moses.

PS508 .I5 N38 1994
Dictionary of Canadian Biography

The Biography provides authoritative biographical information about significant figures of Canada’s past who died between the years 1000 and 1930, or whose last known date of activity falls within these years.

There are detailed articles on Canada’s major historical figures, and short articles on minor personages who have hitherto found no place in reference works or general histories.

Available Online

F1005 .D49

Indian-Inuit Authors: An Annotated Bibliography
National Library of Canada

Summary of the contributions of northern writers to 1972 who produced texts in various topics, from literary to political: books, anthologies, articles, conferences, reports, poetry and songs, studies, theses, and periodicals.

Z1365 .O7
Ethnic and Native Canadian Literature: A Bibliography
Miska, John

An older book (published in 1990), but it remains an excellent resource for locating poetry, fiction, and drama authored by foreign-born authors residing in Canada.

Z1376 .E87 M57 1990 Reference
Five-Part Invention: A History of Literary History in Canada
Blodgett, E.D.

Composed of five parts: immigrant communities, English Canada, French Canada, First-Nations communities, and Inuit communities.

Available Online

PR9185.2 .B62 2003

Major Scholarly Journals

ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature
no. 1 (1970)–present

Scholarly criticism of literatures in English, with particular focus on the influence of colonization on literature. Peer-reviewed.

Available Online
The Canadian Journal of Native Studies
vol. 1 (1981)–present

Articles, bibliographies, book reviews, and discussions related to all cultural aspects of Indigenous Peoples, including literature. Peer-reviewed.

Available Online
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.

Available Online

Periodical Stacks

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.

Available Online

Periodical Stacks

reviewed & updated 27 October 2023 | compiled by Agatha Barc

Last updated: October 27, 2023