Books·Poetry Month

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 you should be reading now.

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

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a poet from the Driftpile Cree Nation. (Billy-Ray Belcourt)

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

Dani Couture is the author of Listen Before Transmit. (Roberta Baker)

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

Adam Dickinson is the author of Anatomic. (Brock University)

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

Kayla Geitzler is the author of the collection That Light Feeling Under Your Feet. (NeWest Press)

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

Emma Healey is the author of Stereoblind. (Arden Wray)

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 the author of I have to live. (Yuula Benivolski)

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

Jeff Latosik is the author of Dreampad. (Elyse Friedman)

Jeff Latosik is a an award-winning Toronto-based poet. His latest collection, Dreampaddelves into a world of cold metal, wires and machinations and explores just how interconnected our lives are with the virtual world.

Canisia Lubrin

Canisia Lubrin is the author of the poetry collection Voodoo Hypothesis. (Anna Keenan)

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

Robin Richardson is the author of Sit How You Want. (

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

Laura Ritland's debut book of poetry is East and West. (Signal Poetry)

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​

Mallory Tater is the author of the collection This Will Be Good. (

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 the author of a place called No Homeland. (Jackson Ezra)

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

Phoebe Wang is the author of Admission Requirements. (

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

Joshua Whitehead is the author of full-metal indigiqueer. (Joshua Whitehead)

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.