Best Canadian Poetry 2023

Edited by: John Barton

Series edited by: Anita Lahey

Selected by editor John Barton, the 2023 edition of Best Canadian Poetry showcases the best Canadian poetry writing published in 2021.

“My goal,” writes guest editor John Barton of his long career as a literary magazine editor, “was always to be jostled awake, and I soon realized that I was being jostled awake for two—myself and the reader … I came to understand that my job description included an obligation to expose readers to wide varieties of poetry, to challenge their assumptions while expanding their taste.” In selecting this year’s edition of Best Canadian Poetry, Barton brings the same catholic spirit to his survey of Canadian poems published by magazines and journals in 2021. From new work by Canadian favourites to exciting new talents, this year’s anthology offers fifty poems to challenge and enlarge your sense of the power and possibility of Canadian poetry.


Leslie Joy Ahenda • Billy-Ray Belcourt • Bertrand Bickersteth • Tawahum Bige • Stephanie Bolster • Susan Braley • Moni Brar • Jake Byrne • Helen Cho • Conyer Clayton • Lucas Crawford • Sophie Crocker • Michael Dunwoody • Evelyna Ekoko-Kay • Tyler Engström • Triny Finlay • Elee Kraljii Gardiner • Lise Gaston • Susan Gillis • Beth Goobie • Patrick Grace • Laurie D. Graham • River Halen • Eva H.D. • Louise Bernice Halfe—Skydancer • Sarah Hilton • Karl Jirgens • Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph • Penn Kemp • Jeremy Loveday • Randy Lundy • Helen Han Wei Luo • Colin Morton • Jordan Mounteer • Samantha Nock • Kathryn Nogue • Michelle Porter • Rebekah Rempel • Armand Garnet Ruffo • Richard Sanger • Nedda Sarshar • K.R. Segriff • Christina Shah • Sandy Shreve • Adrian Southin • J.J. Steinfeld • Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang • Eric Wang • Tom Wayman • Jan Zwicky


John Barton

John Barton is a poet, essayist, editor and writing mentor. His books include Polari, For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems; Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets; We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos; and The Essential Douglas LePan, which won a 2020 eLit Award. Formerly the co-editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and editor of The Malahat Review, he now lives in Victoria, where he is the fifth poet laureate.


Anita Lahey

Anita Lahey’s Out to Dry in Cape Breton (2006), was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and the Ottawa Book Award. She is a past winner of the Great Blue Heron Poetry Prize and the Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem, and her work has been shortlisted several times for the CBC Literary Award for Poetry.


Praise for the Best Canadian Series

“The wide range of writers, forms and themes represented here make it a great jumping-off point for readers who might be interested in Canadian poetry but are unsure about where to start.”
—Globe and Mail

“A superb collection of national thinkers, crackling with insight on the issues of the age.”

“The arrival, late in the fall each year, of [this] collection is always cause for fanfare.”
—Quill & Quire

“The legacy for Canadian literature in the Best Canadian Stories series can’t be overstated. For years the collection has been the place to discover Canadian writers.”
—Winnipeg Free Press

Best Canadian Stories … combines both emerging and established voices for a fascinating glimpse at the most exciting short fiction coming out of this country.”
—Open Book


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192 Pages
8.25in * 5.25in * 0.60in


November 15, 2022





Book Subjects:

POETRY / Anthologies

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