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John Steffler

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Title: John Steffler  
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Subject: Atlantic Poetry Prize, 1992 Governor General's Awards, Canadian Poets Laureate, Poet laureate, Michael Crummey
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John Steffler

John Steffler (born November 13, 1947) is a Canadian poet and novelist.


  • Biography 1
  • Bibliography 2
    • Poetry 2.1
    • Novels 2.2
    • Children's Books 2.3
    • Anthologies 2.4
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Born in Toronto, Ontario, Steffler was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. Since 1975 he has lived in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador where he taught at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (a campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland). Steffler currently resides in Montreal, teaching at Concordia University.

His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright (1992) won the 1993 Thomas Head Raddall Award and was nominated for the English-language Fiction category of the 1992 Governor General's Awards.

His books of poetry include That Night We Were Ravenous (1998), which won the 1999 Atlantic Poetry Prize.

On December 4, 2006, Steffler became Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, a position intended to "encourage and promote the importance of literature, culture and language in Canadian society. Federal legislators created the position in 2001 to draw Canadians’ attention to poetry, both spoken and written, and its role in our lives."[1] Steffler's term expired in November 2008.



  • 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.[2] 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.

Children's Books

  • 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.[3]


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

External links

  • Canadian Poetry Online: John Steffler - Biography and 6 poems (Collecting, Bay of Islands, 1998; The Green Insect; Invited In; Work; March 22; That Night We Were Ravenous)
  • John Steffler at the Parliament of Canada website
  • John Steffler on the University of Toronto Library Canadian Poets List
  • Griffin Poetry Prize biography of John Steffler, including video clip
  • , online at CBC Words at LargeThat Night We Were Ravenous"At the Foot of a Wall" from
  • John Steffler speaks about his appointment as Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, online at CBC Words at Large (audio)
Preceded by
Pauline Michel
Parliamentary Poet Laureate
Succeeded by
Pierre DesRuisseaux
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