John Steffler was born in Toronto in 1947, and grew up in a rural area near Thornhill, Ontario. He obtained a B.A. (Honours) in English from University College, University of Toronto, in 1971, and an M.A. in English (1974) from the University of Guelph, with a thesis titled "The Origin and Development of Los: a Study of the Prophetic Poetry of William Blake". He taught at the Department of English, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, from 1975 until 1998. His areas of specialism are Nineteenth and Twentieth Century British Literature.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- "John Steffler - biography". Canadian Poetry Online. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- "Former Poets Laureate - John Steffler". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Search results: John Steffler, Open Library, Web, May 10, 2011.
- "John Steffler: Publications," Canadian Poetry Online, UToronto.ca, Web, May 10, 2011.
- John Steffler on the University of Toronto Library Canadian Poets List
- Griffin Poetry Prize biography of John Steffler, including video clip
- "At the Foot of a Wall" from That Night We Were Ravenous, online at CBC Words at Large
- John Steffler speaks about his appointment as Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, online at CBC Words at Large (audio)
| Parliamentary Poet Laureate