I had the pleasure of guest editing Best Canadian Poetry 2019, working alongside series editor Anita Lahey and advisory editor Luke Hathaway. It was published in October 2019. The anthology features my fifty favourite poems by Canadian poets that were published in periodicals during the previous year, along with a list of fifty more “notable” poems. I hope it proves to enjoyable for both new readers of poetry and those long-devoted to the craft.
Featuring poems by Colleen Baran, Gary Barwin, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Ali Blythe, Marilyn Bowering, Julie Bruck, Sara Cassidy, Sue Chenette, Chelsea Coupal, Kayla Czaga, Sadiqa de Meijer, Adebe DeRango-Adem, Chris Evans, Beth Follett, Stevie Howell, Danielle Hubbard, Dallas Hunt, Catherine Hunter, Sonnet L’Abbé, Ben Ladouceur, Tess Liem, D.A. Lockhart, Jessie Loyer, Annick MacAskill, Domenica Martinello, Laura Matwichuk, Katie McGarry, Jimmy McInnes, A.F. Moritz, Alexandra Oliver, Alycia Pirmohamed, Marion Quednau, Claudia Coutu Radmore, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, Shaun Robinson, Yusuf Saadi, Rebecca Salazar, Ellie Sawatzky, David Seymour, Kevin Spenst, Mallory Tater, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Russell Thornton, Daniel Scott Tysdal, William Vallières, Katherena Vermette, Douglas Walbourne-Gough, Cara Waterfall, Gillian Wigmore, and Ian Williams.
I wrote an essay for the Literary Review of Canada about making time to work on this anthology, which you can read here. I also wrote about the experience in a blog post, in which I included the full list of “notable” poems. You can read that here.
You can listen to an episode of the Page Fright podcast, featuring five of the book’s contributors, here, and an episode of the Elm & Ampersand podcast, featuring me and series associate editor Luke Hathaway, here.
“[A] must-have for libraries, schools, and intellectually well-intentioned bedside nightstands across the country.”
– George Murray, Quill & Quire
“An admirable anthology that surveys the inspired writings of a wide cross-section of Canadian poets writing today. Taylor’s anthology reflects the range and depth of that writing and, equally, it places on full display the sophisticated and nuanced approach of an editor who took his responsibilities as an anthologist very seriously… Taylor has brought deep, careful and above all insightful judgment to the choices he has made—perhaps more thought than any Canadian anthologist since Gary Geddes gave us his foundational 20th-Century Poetry and Poetics back in 1969.”
– P.W. Bridgman, The Ormsby Review
“A collection to be read and appreciated over and over, a collection that offers excellence and stirs the soul.”
– Mary Barnes, Prairie Fire
“It’s meaningful, and pleasantly surprising, that the editors… decided to recognize the value of voice and perspective over sonic dazzle. These pieces show that dazzle can come in many forms.”
– Bert Archer, The Toronto Star
“It’s clear that… there are some gems to be found in Best Canadian Poetry 2019.”
– J. Ockenden, Discorder Magazine
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