Compton has published books of poetry, essays, and fiction, and he edited the first comprehensive anthology of black writing from British Columbia. He co-founded Commodore Books with David Chariandy and Karina Vernon in 2006, the first black-oriented press in Western Canada. He also co-founded the Hogan's Alley Memorial Project in 2002, a grassroots organization that promotes the history of Vancouver's black community. Compton is the associate director of Creative Writing at Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies.
- Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature (2001)
- The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (with Renee Sarojini Saklikar) (2015)
- The Outer Harbour: Stories (2014)
- After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region (2010)
- 49th Parallel Psalm (1999)
- Performance Bond (2004)