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Literary Collections Canadian

Best Canadian Poetry 2021

edited by Souvankham Thammavongsa

series edited by Anita Lahey

Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Canadian, Canadian, Anthologies (multiple authors)
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

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“This is a book,” writes guest editor Souvankham Thammavongsa, “about what I saw and read and loved, and want you to see and read and love.” Selected from work published by Canadian poets in magazines and journals in 2020, Best Canadian Poetry 2021 gathers the poems Thammavongsa loved most over a year’s worth of reading, and draws together voices that “got in and out quickly, that said unusual things, that were clear, spare, and plain, that made [her] laugh out loud … the voices that barely ever survive to make it onto the page.” From new work by Canadian icons to thrilling emerging talents, this year’s anthology offers fifty poems for you to fall in love with as well.


Margaret Atwood
Ken Babstock
Manahil Bandukwala
Courtney Bates-Hardy
Roxanna Bennett
Ronna Bloom
Louise Carson
Kate Cayley
Kitty Cheung
Dani Couture
Kayla Czaga
Šari Dale
Unnati Desai
Tina Do
Andrew DuBois
Paola Ferrante
Beth Goobie
Nina Philomena Honorat
Liz Howard
Maureen Hynes
George K Ilsley
Eve Joseph
Ian Keteku
Judith Krause
M Travis Lane
Mary Dean Lee
Canisia Lubrin
Randy Lundy
David Ly
Yohani Mendis
Pamela Mosher
Susan Musgrave
Téa Mutonji
Barbara Nickel
Ottavia Paluch
Kirsten Pendreigh
Emily Pohl-Weary
David Romanda
Matthew Rooney
Zoe Imani Sharpe
Sue Sinclair
John Steffler
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang
Arielle Twist
David Ezra Wang
Phoebe Wang
Hayden Ward
Elana Wolff
Eugenia Zuroski
Jan Zwicky


About the authors

Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in Nong Khai, Thailand, in 1978 and was raised and educated in Toronto. She won the 2004 ReLit prize for her first poetry book, Small Arguments. She is also the author of a second poetry book, Found, which was made into a short film and screened at film festivals worldwide, including Toronto International Film Festival and Dok Leipzig. Some of her poems were written while she was a resident at Yaddo. Poems have appeared in many of Canada’s literary journals and magazines, including Canadian Literature, Contemporary Verse 2, dANDelion, Event, The Fiddlehead and The Windsor Review. The poem “The Sun in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away” appeared in the anthology Troubling Borders: Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora published by the University of Washington Press in the United States. The poem “Perfect” was nominated for a National Magazine award. Thammavongsa was named one of “Best Under 35” writers in Canada in a special issue of The Windsor Review. She lives in Stouffville, Ontario.

Souvankham Thammavongsa's profile page

Anita Lahey's poems have appeared in the Malahat Review, the Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, This Magazine, in Ottawa buses as part of the Transpoetry competition, and in The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry. She has won the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest, Ralph Gustafson Prize for Best Poem, and first prize for poetry in Pagitica's annual literary competition. Lahey is the editor of Arc: Canada's Poetry Magazine and lives in Montreal.

Anita Lahey's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Best Canadian Poetry Series

“[These] books are must-haves for libraries, schools, and intellectually well-intentioned bedside nightstands across the country.”—Quill & Quire

“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

“Buy it, or borrow it, but do read it.”—Arc Poetry Magazine

“A magnet, I think, for the many people who would like to know contemporary poetry.”—A.F. Moritz, Griffin Poetry Prize winner

“An eclectic and diverse collection of Canadian poetry . . . a wonderful addition to anyone’s bookshelf.”—Toronto Quarterly