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