Former Poets Laureate
John Steffler, 2006-2008
“As an award winning poet and fiction writer, Mr. Steffler has been a highly-regarded ambassador of Canadian writing for many years,” said Speaker Kinsella. “His career-long interest in the interaction between people and the places they inhabit will lead to some insightful poetic reflections on the Canadian experience.”
“Mr Steffler has spent a good part of his career teaching others about his craft,” said Speaker Milliken. “I welcome his appointment to a position that seeks to enhance Canadians’ appreciation of the value of poetry in our society.”
John Steffler was born in Toronto, Ontario in November 1947 and was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph. He moved to and adopted Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador as his home in 1974. He taught at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (a campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland). His five books of poetry are highly regarded and have been well received in throughout Canada. They include That Night We Were Ravenous (1998) which won the 1999 Atlantic Poetry Prize. His novel The Afterlife of George Cartwright (1992) won the 1993 Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Head Raddall Award and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book.