Poetry and Scholarship

Into the Continent

Forthcoming from University of Regina Press, March 2024

Multifaceted and multi-voiced, Emily McGiffin’s poems explore the ongoing violence, destruction, and loss wrought by colonialism and capitalist extraction across time and geographic space, from Turtle Island to South Africa. McGiffin animates the spectres that haunt our private and public pasts. Her words remind us that we live in a world shaped by the events and people of the past, by suffering, and seizure, yet at times in the shadow of great acts of generosity. This world, largely built by iterations of violence, still concentrates wealth into the hands of a few, and McGiffin reminds us that power wants to hold its grip, to reproduce itself.

Cover image: Of Land, Bones, and Money

Of Land, Bones, and Money: Toward a South African Ecopoetics

University of Virginia Press, 2019

Honourable Mention for the 2020 Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize in the Environmental Humanties and Creative Writing awarded by the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada. The South African literature of iimbongi, the oral poets of the amaXhosa people, has long shaped understandings of landscape and history and offered a forum for grappling with change. Of Land, Bones, and Money examines the shifting role of these poets in South African society and their responses to segregation, apartheid, the injustices of extractive capitalism, and contemporary politics in South Africa. Read more

Cover image: Subduction Zone

Subduction Zone

Pedlar Press, 2014

2015 Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Book Award, Creative Writing Category

Judges’ comments: “McGiffin’s poetry startles and provokes, even as it pleases and draws the reader in. Impressively, she takes on subject matter as immense as empire–its power over us yet vulnerability to self-destruction–and makes it vivid, personal, and immediate.” Read more

Cover image: Between Dusk and Night

Between Dusk and Night

Brick Books, 2012

Finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Prize.

“I am undone by Emily McGiffin. Her images and insights create an immaculate architecture for the heart. Sometimes I think I’ll never read a good poem again and then she comes along with a book full of them. Astonishing.” – Patrick Lane

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Contributions to Creative Anthologies

Cover image: WORDS on the Edge

Words on the Edge

Edited by Peter Rutledge Koch with an Introduction by Robert Bringhurst, Codex Foundation, 2020

WORDS on the Edge consists of twenty-six poems and lyrical texts addressing themes of nature and its irresponsible destruction. Read more


Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times

Edited by Catriona Sandilands, Caitlin Press, 2019

Rising Tides is a collection of short fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir and poetry addressing the past, present and future of climate change. Bringing stories about climate change–both catastrophic and subtle–closer to home, this new anthology inspires reflection, understanding, conversation and action. Read more

Cover image: Refugium

Refugium: Poems for the Pacific

Edited by Yvonne Blomer, Caitlin Press, 2018

New poetry written by prize-winning BC poets, musicians, and artists including John Barton, Brian Brett, Bruce Cockburn, Lorna Crozier, Brenda Hillman, Gary Geddes, Steven Heighton, Patrick Lane, Arleen Paré, Melanie Siebert, Ann Simpson, Rob Taylor, Patricia Young, Jan Zwicky and many more, anthologized by Victoria’s city poet-laureate. Read more