John Steffler

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John Steffler is an award winning Canadian poet and novelist. He was the Parliamentary Poet Laureate of Canada from 2006 to 2008.


John Steffler was born in Toronto in 1947, and grew up in a rural area near Thornhill, Ontario. He has an M.A. in English (1974) from the University of Guelph. Thesis: "The Origin and Development of Los: a Study of the Prophetic Poetry of William Blake." His B.A. (Honours) in English was from University College, University of Toronto, 1971. Areas of concentration: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century British Literature. Other areas of study: French, European History, Chinese Philosophy, Japanese Literature in Translation.



  • An Explanation of Yellow. Ottawa: Borealis Press, 1981.
  • The Grey Islands. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985.
  • The Wreckage of Play. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1988.
  • That Night We Were Ravenous. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1998.
  • The Grey Islands. London, ON: Brick Books, 2000.
  • Helix: new and selected poems. Montreal : Signal Editions, 2002.
  • The Grey Islands, unabridged audio edition (2007)
  • Lookout. Plattsburgh, NY: McClelland and Stewart, 2010.[1] ISBN 978-0-7710-8267-2 (shortlisted for the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize)


  • The Afterlife of George Cartwright. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1992. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1993.
  • German Mills: A Novel Pertaining to the Life and Times of William Berczy. Gaspereau Press, 2015.

Children's Books[edit]

  • Flights of Magic. Victoria: Press Porcepic, 1987.


  • Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada, ed. Anne Compton, Laurence Hutchman, Ross Leckie and Robin McGrath (Goose Lane Editions, 2002)

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy Canadian Poetry Online.[2]


  1. ^ Search results: John Steffler, Open Library, Web, May 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "John Steffler: Publications," Canadian Poetry Online,, Web, May 10, 2011.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pauline Michel
Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Succeeded by
Pierre DesRuisseaux