14 Canadian poets to watch in 2018
April is National Poetry Month! Looking for some exciting poetry to read in celebration? Here are 14 poets who reflect the enduring strength of the literary form in this country.
Billy-Ray Belcourt is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD student from Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta. His debut collection of poetry, This Wound is a World, merges the personal with the academic, envisioning a "decolonial kind of heaven that is searchable, findable" and is currently on the shortlist for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Dani Couture is a Toronto-based poet and novelist. Her latest collection, Listen Before Transmit, explores the human condition through the spaces we live in as well as the spaces, physical and emotional, between us.
Adam Dickinson's collection of poetry acts as a juxtaposition of the notions of "outside" and "inside," on a chemical and biological level. His book Anatomic explores the notion of what makes us human and how much the materials that make us, define us. Dickinson was a finalist for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize.
Kayla Geitzler is a poet based in Moncton. Her latest book, That Light Feeling Under Your Feet, is an exploration of what it is like working on a cruise ship and the isolation, alienation, racism, assimilation and marginalization that comes with working in the tourism industry.
Emma Healey is a poet and writer based in Toronto. Her second collection, Stereoblind, is a series of prose poems that explores the many ways the modern world is askew, from fake news to malleable borders to the artisty that can be found in shopping at big box stores.
Aisha Sasha John
Aisha Sasha John is a dancer and poet. Her sophomore collection Thou landed her on shortlists for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and ReLit Poetry Award. Her latest is I have to live, a collection of poetry shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Jeff Latosik is a an award-winning Toronto-based poet. His latest collection, Dreampad, delves into a world of cold metal, wires and machinations and explores just how interconnected our lives are with the virtual world.
Canisia Lubrin has published poetry, fiction, nonfiction and criticism. Her debut poetry collection, Voodoo Hypothesis, uses both modern language and folklore to explore race, oppression and colonialism.
Robin Richardson a poet based in Toronto. She is the author of three collections of poetry; her latest is called Sit How You Want, a collection which uses poetic wit to address themes of abuse, anxiety and powerlessness.
Laura Ritland is a poet based in Vancouver. She received Malahat Review's Far Horizon Award for Poetry in 2014 and is a current PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. Her debut poetry book, East and West, looks at diversity of thought, geography and sensation using vibrant language and lyrical cadence.
Mallory Tater is the publisher of the chapbook press Rahila's Ghost Press and the author of the poetry collection This Will Be Good. This Will Be Good explores the experiences of a young woman as she squares up against an eating disorder.
Kai Cheng Thom
Kai Cheng Thom is a writer and social worker. She has taken her poetry from the stage to the page in a place called No Homeland, which is an intimate journey through topics like gender, race and sexuality. Many of the poems emerge from her story of navigating identity as a Chinese Canadian transgender woman.
Phoebe Wang is an Ottawa-born poet and author. As the daughter of immigrants from Hong Kong, Wang has often pondered the issue of identity. In her debut poetry collection Admission Requirements, Wang explores stories of the land and searches for a secure sense of belonging.
Joshua Whitehead is a two-spirit poet and scholar who is currently working toward his PhD in Indigenous literature at the University of Calgary. His collection of poetry, full-metal indigiqueer, deals with the decolonization and resurgence of the Indigenous queer identity.