Canadian Poetry Must-Haves for Every Library

essential poets cover collage

The Essential Poets Series preserves the work of Canada’s most celebrated poets in a package that is beautiful, accessible, and affordable. There are currently twenty volumes in the series. Highlights include:

The Essential P. K. Page
selected by Arlene Lampert & Théa Gray

The Essential Tom Marshall
selected by David Helwig & Michael Ondaatje

The Essential Travis Lane
selected by Shane Neilson

The Essential Kay Smith
selected by Michael Oliver

Series benefits:

  • The series preserves some of Canada’s unique poetic voices and prevents these one-time pillars of the canon from being forgotten by new generations.
  • Each volume includes a critical introduction, an extended biography, a bibliography and fifty pages of the poet’s most compelling, unique or well-known poetry
  • Volumes are well designed, durable and inexpensive.

What people are saying:

‘The Porcupine’s Quill’s series of Essential collections … is a valuable part of the critical conversation about the shape and scope of poets’ oeuvres and of Canadian poetic history.’ —Nicholas Bradley, Canadian Literature

Where to get it:

Info to go:

Need a handy, one-page flyer with information on all current volumes? We’ve got you covered. Download the flyer here:

PortraitHope you’re enjoying all the poetry in the air this National Poetry Month! Be sure to browse the rest of our awesome poetry titles as well for more poetic fun.


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.