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Poetry Anthologies (multiple Authors)

Best Canadian Poetry 2023

edited by John Barton

series edited by Anita Lahey

Initial publish date
Nov 2022
Anthologies (multiple authors), Canadian, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2022
    List Price

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Selected by editor John Barton, the 2023 edition of Best Canadian Poetry showcases the best Canadian poetry writing published in 2021.

“My goal,” writes guest editor John Barton of his long career as a literary magazine editor, “was always to be jostled awake, and I soon realized that I was being jostled awake for two—myself and the reader … I came to understand that my job description included an obligation to expose readers to wide varieties of poetry, to challenge their assumptions while expanding their taste.” In selecting this year’s edition of Best Canadian Poetry, Barton brings the same catholic spirit to his survey of Canadian poems published by magazines and journals in 2021. From new work by Canadian favourites to exciting new talents, this year’s anthology offers fifty poems to challenge and enlarge your sense of the power and possibility of Canadian poetry.


Leslie Joy Ahenda • Billy-Ray Belcourt • Bertrand Bickersteth • Tawahum Bige • Stephanie Bolster • Susan Braley • Moni Brar • Jake Byrne • Helen Cho • Conyer Clayton • Lucas Crawford • Sophie Crocker • Michael Dunwoody • Evelyna Ekoko-Kay • Tyler Engström • Triny Finlay • Elee Kraljii Gardiner • Lise Gaston • Susan Gillis • Beth Goobie • Patrick Grace • Laurie D. Graham • River Halen • Eva H.D. • Louise Bernice Halfe—Skydancer • Sarah Hilton • Karl Jirgens • Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph • Penn Kemp • Jeremy Loveday • Randy Lundy • Helen Han Wei Luo • Colin Morton • Jordan Mounteer • Samantha Nock • Kathryn Nogue • Michelle Porter • Rebekah Rempel • Armand Garnet Ruffo • Richard Sanger • Nedda Sarshar • K.R. Segriff • Christina Shah • Sandy Shreve • Adrian Southin • J.J. Steinfeld • Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang • Eric Wang • Tom Wayman • Jan Zwicky

About the authors

John Barton has published ten previous collections of poetry and six chapbooks, including, most recently, Balletomane: The Program Notes of Lincoln Kirstein and For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems, which were respectively published by JackPine Press and Nightwood Editions in 2012. Co-editor of Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay-Male Poets, he has won three Archibald Lampman Awards, an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award. Since 1980, his poems have appeared in anthologies, magazines, and newspapers across Canada and in the United States, Australia, China, India, and the U.K. Previously a writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library and at the University of New Brunswick, he has taught at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, the Banff Centre, and the University of Victoria. From 1985 to 2003, he worked as a librarian, a production manager, a publications coordinator, and an editor for five national museums in Ottawa, where he edited Vernissage: The Magazine of the National Gallery of Canada, and, in his spare time, Arc Poetry Magazine. He was the poetry editor for Signature Editions from 2005 to 2008 and has been a manuscript editor for Brick Books since 2010. He has lived in Victoria since 2004, where he edits The Malahat Review. Polari is his eleventh collection of poetry.

John Barton's profile page

Anita Lahey's poems have appeared in the Malahat Review, the Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, This Magazine, in Ottawa buses as part of the Transpoetry competition, and in The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. She has won the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest, Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem, and first prize for poetry in Pagitica's annual literary competition. Lahey is the editor of Arc: Canada's Poetry Magazine and lives in Montreal.

Anita Lahey's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Best Canadian Series

“The wide range of writers, forms and themes represented here make it a great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”
—Globe and Mail

“A superb collection of national thinkers, crackling with insight on the issues of the age.”

“The arrival, late in the fall each year, of [this] collection is always cause for fanfare.”
—Quill & Quire

“The legacy for Canadian literature in the Best Canadian Stories series can’t be overstated. For years the collection has been the place to discover Canadian writers.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

Best Canadian Stories … combines both emerging and established voices for a fascinating glimpse at the most exciting short fiction coming out of this country.”
—Open Book

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