John Newlove (1938-2003) in 1980. Photo by Jeremy Gilbert. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

John Newlove (June 13, 1938 - December 23, 2003) was a Canadian poet who was considered to be one of the dominant voices of prairie poetry, though he lived most of his adult life in British Columbia and Ontario.


Newlove was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He lived in a variety of small Saskatchewan towns, in particular Kamsack. He attended the University of Saskatchewan for a year, worked briefly as a social worker, a teacher and at a radio station before embarking on a cross-Canada trip which eventually landed him in Vancouver.

He came to prominence in the 1960s as various collections of his poetry were published to critical acclaim. He left Vancouver in May 1967 and took his family to Deep Springs College in California where composer friend Barney Childs was a professor. After several more moves, he and his family ended up in Toronto by 1970 where he worked as senior editor for McClelland and Stewart.

Various writer-in-residence stints followed his 1974 departure from McCelland and Stewart, including at Concordia University in Montreal, the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario in London. He lived for several years in Regina in the early 1980s where he served as writer-in-residence at the public library, then in Nelson, British Columbia, where he taught at David Thompson University. Finally, he lived from 1986 in Ottawa where he would spend the rest of his life.

Newlove suffered a stroke in 2001, and died in 2003 in Ottawa.


Newlove won the 1972 Governor General's Award for "Lies."

His 1986 collection, The Night the Dog Smiled, was short-listed for that year's English language poetry Governor General's Award, and he won the 1984 Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Founders Award.

Newlove was the subject of two documentaries: New Canadian Writers: John Newlove (1971) which was broadcast on TVO, and What to Make of It All? The Life and Poetry of John Newlove (2006) which was broadcast on Bravo! in 2007.

Ottawa magazine and website Bywords established the John Newlove Poetry Award in 2004.[1]



  • Grave Sirs: Poems. Vancouver: Private press of R. Reid & T. Tanabe, 1962.
  • Elephants, Mothers, and others. Vancouver: Periwinkle Press, 1963.
  • Moving in Alone. Toronto: Contact Press, 1965; 2nd edition, Lantzville, BC: Oolichan Books, 1977.
  • Notebook pages. Lithographs. Toronto, C. Pachter, 1966.
  • Burn, and other poems. Platteville, WI: 1967.
  • What They Say. Kitchener, Ont.: Weed/flower Press, 1967 [reprinted 1968].
  • Black Night Window. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1968.
  • 3 Poems. Vancouver: Western Press, 1968.
  • The Cave. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1970.
  • 7 disasters, 3 theses, and welcome home: click. Vancouver: Very Stone House in Transit, 1971.
  • Lies. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1972.
  • The Fat Man: Selected Poems (1962-1972). Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1977.
  • The Green Plain. Lantzville, BC: Oolichan Books, 1981.
  • Three poems. Prince George, BC: Gorse Press, 1985.
  • The Night the Dog Smiled. Toronto: ECW Press, 1986.
  • Poems. Magnum readings; 26. Ottawa: Magnum Book Store, 1993.
  • Apology for Absence: Selected poems, 1962-1992. Erin, ON: Porcupine's Quill, 1993.
  • The Tasmanian Devil, and other poems. Maxville, ON: above/ground, 1999.[2]
  • A Long Continual Argument: The selected poems of John Newlove (edited by Robert McTavish; afterword by Jeff Derksen). Ottawa: Chaudiere Books, 2007.


  • Dream Craters. Erin, ON: Press Porcépic, 1974.
  • Canadian Poetry: The modern era Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1977.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy University of Toronto. '[3]


  • John Newlove reads his own poems. (Phonotape). CBC Record T 55107. (196?)
  • Canadian poets 1. [(Audiocassette)] Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1966.
  • John Newlove. (Phonotape). Toronto: High Barnet, 1973.

Except where noted, a/v information courtesy University of Toronto. [4]

See also Edit


  1. Our Poets at Rest: John Newlove", Arc Poetry Magazine, Dec. 14, 2010,, Web, June 8, 2012.
  2. Search results = au:John Newlove 1999-2014, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Dec. 27, 2014.
  3. "John Newlove: Publications," Canadian Poetry Online, Web, July 4, 2011.
  4. "John Newlove: Publications," Canadian Poetry Online, Web, July 4, 2011.

External linksEdit



Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.