ENG354Y1Y - L5101

Canadian Poetry


Monday 6 pm - 9 pm


Dr. V. Visvis

E-mail: vvisvis@chass.utoronto.ca

Office Location

JHB 802

Brief Description of Course

A study of English-Canadian poetry from the nineteenth century to the present day. This survey course will begin with an analysis of poems from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly the confluence of Romantic and nationalist influences in the works of Confederation Poets. We will continue with a discussion of poetry in Canada from 1920 to 1960, addressing the modernism of the Montreal Group, debates over “native” or nationalist and “cosmopolitan” or internationalist poetic influences, and mid-century women’s poetry. The course will close with an examination of late twentieth and early twenty-first-century poetry. Special attention will be given to issues of masculinity; women writing desire; formal experimentation in concrete, sound, and second-wave feminist poetry; multiculturalism, particularly Jewish-Canadian, Indigenous, and “Africadian” poets; and ecological poetry in Canada.  

Required Reading(s)

Course Reader with poetry by Charles Sangster, Isabella Valancy Crawford, Charles G. D. Roberts, Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman, E. Pauline Johnson, A. J. M. Smith, F. R. Scott, A. M. Klein, Dorothy Livesay, E. J. Pratt, Earle Birney, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster, Louis Dudek, P. K. Page, Miriam Waddington, Margaret Avison, Jay Macpherson, Anne Wilkinson, Al Purdy, Michael Ondaatje, Patrick Lane, Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, Dionne Brand, Daphne Marlatt, Betsy Warland, Phyllis Webb, bp Nichol, Lola Lemire Tostevin, bill bissett, Christian Bök, Eli Mandel, Leonard Cohen, Anne Michaels, Beth Brant, Lee Maracle, Marilyn Dumont, Gregory Scofield, Don McKay, Robert Bringhurst, Dennis Lee, and Jan Zwicky. Michael Ondaatje, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid(Vintage); Margaret Atwood, Journals of Susanna Moodie (Oxford); Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red(Vintage); George Elliott Clarke, Whylah Falls (Polestar). Course Reader available on course Quercus site. Texts by Ondaatje, Atwood, Carson, and Clarke available at the University of Toronto Bookstore (214 College Street,416-640-7900).

First Three Authors/Texts

Sangster, Crawford, Scott.

Method of Instruction


Method of Evaluation

  • One first-term essay(20%)
  • One second-term essay (30%)
  • One first-term test (15%)
  • One final examination (25%)
  • Class participation (10%)