There are poets in every corner of Canada, from kitchens in Cape Breton to beaches on Victoria Island. If you are looking at the history of poetry in this large and complex country you need to look at aboriginal, English and French poetry, and check out poetry in other languages too. Canadian songwriters are famous, and our slam poets take a back seat to no one.
After Europeans arrived, poetry was written in small settlements and towns, community papers and journals, much of it lamenting the difficulties of this new tough country. In the 19th century poets and writers began to express themselves in the new idiom of a Canadian voice. Poems were published in newspapers and magazines, sometimes in American magazines such as Harper’s and the New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly, and in European publications.
Today there are many ways of accessing Canadian poetry, and whether we know it or not, the magic of poetry, and its imagery, sounds, music and thought underlie many of our experiences, both everyday and transcendent.
We have poets laureate throughout the country.
There are major prizes for Canadian poetry.
For a brief overview of Canadian poetic history on the web, and for names of poets, try Wikipedia, and the following websites.