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About Canadian Poetry

Canadian Poetry has been created and published in collaboration with the Electronic Text Centre at the University of New Brunswick Libraries. Containing more than 19,000 poems by 177 poets drawn from over 700 printed sources, many of them rare and inaccessible outside Canada, the collection comprises essentially the complete canon of English-language Canadian poetry from the seventeenth century up to the early twentieth.

Editorial Policy

The aim has been to provide a comprehensive database of the poetry of Canadian authors whose works were published up to and including 1900 and who died before 1950. The database is not intended to function as a critical edition; variants, composition history and scholarly apparatus are not provided.

All poems published in book form have been included, as have uncollected broadsheet and serial publications before 1850; post-1850 broadsheet and serial publications have been included at the discretion of the editorial board. Translations have not been included unless they assumed a wider importance and became part of the fabric of contemporary cultural life.

The Editions

Reliable modern critical editions have been used as copy text where these are available. Where no suitable modern edition exists, the policy has been to use reliable collected works editions or editions published during the author's lifetime reflecting his or her final intentions.

The Texts

In all cases, the electronic text is a diplomatic transcription of its printed source, free of silent emendation. The entire text of each poem has been included. Any accompanying text written by the poet and forming an integral part of the poem, such as dedications, notes, arguments and epigraphs, is also generally included.

Front and back matter from the source volume, such as advertisements, prefaces, introductions, editorial apparatus, biographies, glossaries and indexes, is usually excluded.

The Editorial Board

Sandra Alston, Canadiana specialist at the University of Toronto Library, holds a Master of Library Science degree from that university. An active member of the Bibliographical Society of America, the Champlain Society, and several university committees, she served as president of the Bibliographical Society of Canada (1991–1993). Her articles on literary and bibliographic subjects have appeared in Canadian periodicals. She has also produced several books, including, in conjunction with Patricia Fleming, Early Canadian Printing: A Supplement to Marie Tremaine's A Bibliography of Canadian Imprints, 1751–1800 (University of Toronto Press, 1999), Toronto in Print: A Celebration of 200 Years of the Printing Press in Toronto, 1798–1998 (Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 1998), and, with Karen Evans, A Bibliography of Canadiana, Being Items in the Metropolitan Toronto Library Relating to the Early History and Development of Canada: Second Supplement, 4 vols. (Metropolitan Toronto Library Board, 1985–1989). In 1988 the Bibliographical Society of Canada awarded her the Tremaine Medal in bibliography.

Jennifer Andrews, assistant professor of Canadian literature at the University of New Brunswick, holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and an MA and a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her special areas of interest include 19th- and 20th-century English-Canadian and American literature, Native North American literature, critical theory and humour studies. A Fulbright scholar, she has presented papers at academic conferences in both Canada and the United States. Her articles and reviews have appeared in several academic journals including English Studies in Canada, Studies in Canadian Literature, Textual Studies in Canada, University of Toronto Quarterly and The Canadian Review of American Studies. Currently she is co-authoring a book on Thomas King with Priscilla Walton of Carleton University (University of Toronto Press). She is also a co-editor of Canadian Literature and the Business of Publishing, a special issue of Studies in Canadian Literature published in 2000 (25.1).

Gwendolyn Davies is a graduate of Dalhousie-King's, the University of Toronto, and York University. She has taught at the Centre d'Etudes Canadiennes, Université de Bordeaux III, Mount Allison University, and, since 1988, at Acadia University, where she is currently head of the English Department. She has served on a number of national committees or executives, including the Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures, the Association for Canadian Studies, the Canadian Association of Chairs of English, the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (CIHM), and the Council of the Bibliographical Society of Canada. She currently chairs the Social Sciences and Humanities Committee of the Department of National Defence and is on the Advisory Board of Newfoundland Studies, the editorial boards of Canadian Literature and The Journal of Nova Scotia Historical Society, and the editorial committee of the History of the Book Project. She has contributed to The University of Toronto Quarterly, Canadian Literature, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and various book-length collections. She has edited several scholarly collections, including Myth and Milieu: Atlantic Literature and Culture, 1918–1939 (Acadiensis Press, 1993), and is the author of Studies in Maritime Literary History, 1760–1930 (Acadiensis Press, 1992).

Mary Jane Edwards, a graduate of Queen's University and the University of Toronto, taught English at Acadia University and the University of British Columbia before joining the English Department of Carleton University. A specialist on Canadian literature, she has published articles and entries in Canadian Literature, the Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Revue de l'Université d'Ottawa, English Studies in Canada, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, Dictionnaire des oeuvres littéraires du Québec, the Academic American Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, as well as chapters in edited books, including the Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship (TEXT) (AMS Press,1991), Inside the Poem: Essays and Poems in Honour of Donald Stephens (Oxford University Press, 1992), and The Editorial Gaze: Mediating Texts in Literature and the Arts (Garland, 1998). An experienced editor, she has not only prepared four anthologies of Canadian literature (Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1974ff.) and the critical edition of The History of Emily Montague (Carleton University Press, 1985) for the Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts, but has also served as a member of the editorial board of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and English Studies in Canada. Currently, she is a member of the editorial committee of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye Project, editor of English Studies in Canada and general editor of the Centre for Editing Early Canadian Texts, for which she is preparing a critical edition of William Kirby's Le chien d'or/ The Golden Dog. Her current research interests include bibliography and textual studies, the history of the Canadian book, William Kirby and other nineteenth-century Canadian authors, and Frances Brooke.

Carole Gerson, a native of Montreal and Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, completed her undergraduate studies at Simon Fraser University, her MA at Dalhousie University, and a PhD at the University of British Columbia. She is currently on the board of CIHM (Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproduction), and was active for many years with several national organizations, including the Association for Canadian and Québec Literatures and the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada. A frequent presenter at conferences and symposiums, she has published numerous articles and entries on Canadian women literary figures, including E. Pauline Johnson, L. M. Montgomery, Marie Joussaye Fotheringham, Susanna Moodie, and Margaret Atwood. She directs the Canadian Publishers' Records Database in the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. Her books include A Purer Taste: The Writing and Reading of Fiction in English in Nineteenth-Century Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1989) and Canada's Early Women Writers: Texts in English to 1859 (Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, 1994). With Gwendolyn Davies, she is the co-editor of Canadian Poetry: The Beginnings Through The First World War (McClelland & Stewart, 1994).

Ross Leckie, director of creative writing at the University of New Brunswick, is a graduate of McGill University, Concordia University and the University of Toronto. His academic interests include 20th-century American and Canadian literature, post-colonial literature and cultural studies. He has published two books of poetry: A Slow Light (Signal Editions Series, Véhicule Press) and The Authority of Roses (Brick Books, 1997). His creative work has appeared in such journals as The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Descant, Ariel, The New Republic, Denver Quarterly, Southwest Review and American Literary Review. He has also published articles in several academic journals, including Essays in Literature, Studies in Short Fiction, Weber Studies, Verse and the University of Toronto Quarterly. He is currently editor of The Fiddlehead.

Victor J. Ramraj holds an undergraduate degree from the University of London and an MA and PhD from the University of New Brunswick. A Professor of English at the University of Calgary, he is a specialist on 19th-century and contemporary Canadian literature, Commonwealth and international English literature, and post-colonial theory and criticism. He has served as President of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies and on the board of directors of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities. He is currently the president of the Canadian Association of Learned Journals, the editor of ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, and a member of the editorial advisory board of Broadview Press. He has published a number of scholarly articles and several books, including Mordecai Richler (G.K. Hall-Twayne, 1983) and Concert of Voices: An Anthology of World Writing in English (Broadview Literary Press, 1995). With Kenneth Ramchand, he is co-editing West Indian Short Stories: An Anthology 1880–1980 (Heinemann, in press). His current major research interest is a study of 'The Politics of Difference and Similarity in Postcolonial/Postindependence Literatures'.

Kathleen Scherf, dean of the Faculty of General Studies and Professor of Canadian Studies at the University of Calgary, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto and an MA and PhD at the University of British Columbia. She has served on several international, national, or executive committees, including the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Committee, the Canadian Council of Teachers of English Steering Committee, and the Executive Council of the Canadian Association of Learned Journals. For a number of years, she was editor of Studies in Canadian Literature. She is currently a member of the editorial advisory board of both Arachne and The Malcolm Lowry Review. Her publications include several books: The Collected Poetry of Malcolm Lowry (University of British Columbia Press, 1992); The Collected Fiction of John Polidori, with D.L. Macdonald, (University of Toronto Press, 1994), and Mary Wollstonecraft's Two 'Vindications': A Scholarly Edition, with D.L. Macdonald, (Broadview Literary Press, 1997). She has also contributed articles and reviews to a number of scholarly journals, the American Review of Canadian Studies, Studies in Canadian Literature, Canadian Literature, The Malcolm Lowry Review, Matrix, The University of Toronto Quarterly, and Prairie Forum.

Thomas B. Vincent, professor of English and head of the English Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, is a graduate of Dalhousie and Queen's universities. A specialist on 18th-century British literature, 16th- and 17th-century English poetry, and early Canadian literature, he currently teaches courses on the literature of war. His articles on Maritime literary figures, such as Henry Alline, Jonathan Odell, and Bliss Carman, have appeared in Canadian Literature, Journal of Canadian Fiction, and Acadiensis. He has published several books, including Narrative Verse Satire in Maritime Canada, 1779–1814 (Tecumseh Press, 1978) and Canadian Forum: A Key to the Authorship of Anonymous Materials and the Pseudonyms Used (LC Press, 1993); edited several scholarly volumes, including The Lay of the Wilderness: a tale of Loyalist New Brunswick; and has contributed entries to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, the Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, the New Canadian Encyclopedia, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography: Canada Writers Before 1890. His bibliographical research is represented by the CD-ROM publication Index to Pre-1900 English Language Canadian Cultural and Literary Magazines (OPTIM Corporation, 1993). He is currently on the editorial board of Canadian Poetry Journal and the advisory board of Precursors and Aftermath: Journal of Literature in English 1914–1945.


The acquisition of print and microform texts to support the building of Canadian Poetry was made possible through the generous cooperation of individuals and Canadian and American research and public libraries. The Electronic Text Centre at the University of New Brunswick Libraries would especially like to note the assistance of the Canadian Institute of Historical Microreproductions (CIHM). The Centre would also like to acknowledge the support and financial assistance of Betty Gustafson.

Every effort has been made to obtain permission from the copyright holders of works included in Canadian Poetry. ProQuest LLC would be grateful for further information concerning any author for whom no copyright holder has been traced.