Bibliography: New Brunswick Literary Critics and Criticism

In addition to the writers who have enriched the province imaginatively, New Brunswick has also been home to some of Canada’s foremost literary critics. Many of those critics worked in academic settings, and some were creative writers themselves. They shaped our understanding of New Brunswick literature by promoting the works of provincial authors, preserving the history of our cultural past, and articulating the vital role that literature has played in New Brunswick’s identity and heritage.

Below is a list of the key critics of New Brunswick literature in the last three decades with links to websites and, where available, links to detailed entries in the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. In all but one instance, these critics have distinguished themselves by their consistent contributions to the study of literature in New Brunswick.

The one exception is Northrop Frye, whose critical eyes were cast much wider than the province, but since he is Canada’s greatest literary critic, and he spent his formative years in the province (specifically Moncton), we claim him as one of our own.

Below this list of key literary critics is a brief bibliography of essential books and articles about the literature and culture of New Brunswick. Many of those critical works appear in the “Further Reading” sections of the NBLCE (see both Modules and Author Pages). The most essential ones are presented here for emphasis. The titles below offer the best starting points for the critical study of New Brunswick literature in English and in English translation (for the study of Acadian literature and culture). For a much more comprehensive bibliography of New Brunswick literature, researchers and scholars should consult the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia’s Bibliography section, which is currently the most complete bibliography of its kind that exists.

Key Literary Critics in English

Alfred G. Bailey
Gwendolyn Davies
Fred Cogswell
David Creelman
Northrop Frye
Michael Nowlan
Desmond Pacey
Malcolm Ross
Tony Tremblay

Key Works of New Brunswick Literary Criticism in English

Bailey, Alfred G. “Creative Moments in the Culture of the Maritime Provinces.” Dalhousie Review 29 (October 1949): 231-44. Rpt. in Culture and Nationality: Essays by A.G. Bailey. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (Carleton Library No. 58), 1972. 44-57.

Boudreau, Raoul. “[Acadian] Poetry as Action.” Unfinished Dreams: Contemporary Poetry of Acadie. Ed. Fred Cogswell and Jo-Anne Elder. Fredericton: Goose Lane, 1990. xvii-xxvii.

Boudreau, Raoul, and Marguerite Maillet. “Acadian Literature.” Trans. Huyen Châu Nguyen and Maureen Magee. Acadia of the Maritimes: Thematic Studies from Beginnings to the Present. Ed. Jean Daigle. Moncton, NB: Chaire d’études acadiennes, 1995. 679-720.

Cogswell, Fred. “The Development of Writing [in New Brunswick].” Arts in New Brunswick. Ed. R.A. Tweedie, Fred Cogswell, and W. Stewart MacNutt. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1967. 19-32.

---. “Literary Activity in the Maritime Provinces (1815-1880).” Literary History of Canada. Ed. Carl F. Klinck, et al. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1965. 102-24.

---. “Literary Traditions in New Brunswick.” Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada Ser. IV, Vol. XV (1977): 287-299.

Creelman, David. Setting in the East: Maritime Realist Fiction. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2003.

Daigle, Jean, ed. Acadia of the Maritimes: Thematic Studies from the Beginning to the Present. Moncton, NB: Chaire d’études acadiennes, 1995.

Davies, Gwendolyn. Studies in Maritime Literary History, 1760-1930. Fredericton: Acadiensis P, 1991.

---, ed. Myth and Milieu: Atlantic Literature and Culture, 1918-1939. Fredericton: Acadiensis P, 1993.

Galloway, David. “Drama, Historical and Contemporary.” Arts in New Brunswick. Ed. R.A. Tweedie, Fred Cogswell, and W. Stewart MacNutt. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1967. 45-72.

Gair, R., et al., eds. A Literary and Linguistic History of New Brunswick. Fredericton: Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1985.

Ives, Edward D. Folksongs of New Brunswick. Fredericton: Goose Lane, 1989.

Keefer, Janice Kulyk. Under Eastern Eyes: A Critical Reading of Maritime Fiction. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1987.

Maxwell, Lilian M. Beckwith. The River St. John and its Poets. Sackville, NB: The Tribune Press, 1947.

Mount, Nicholas J. When Canadian Literature Moved to New York. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2005.

New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia. Ed. Tony Tremblay. Fredericton, NB: UNB Libraries, 2020. 24 July 2020 <>.

Pacey, Desmond. “Contemporary Writing [in New Brunswick].” Arts in New Brunswick. Ed. R.A. Tweedie, Fred Cogswell, and W. Stewart MacNutt. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1967. 33-40.

---. Creative Writing in Canada. Toronto: Ryerson, 1952.

Ross, Malcolm, Fred Cogswell, and Marguerite Maillet. The Bicentennial Lectures on New Brunswick Literature. Winthrop Pickard Bell Lectures in Maritime Studies 3. Sackville, NB: Centre for Canadian Studies, Mt. Allison U, 1985.

Smith, Mary Elizabeth. Too Soon the Curtain Fell: A History of Theatre in Saint John, 1798-1900. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1981.

Swanick, Eric. “New Brunswick Literature and the Pursuit of Bibliography.” Studies in Canadian Literature 11.2 (1986): 182-89.

Tremblay, Tony. David Adams Richards of the Miramichi. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2010.

---. The Fiddlehead Moment: Pioneering an Alternative Canadian Modernism in New Brunswick. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2019.

---, ed. New Brunswick at the Crossroads: Literary Ferment and Social Change in the East. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2017.

---. “Landscapes of Reception: Historicizing the Travails of the New Brunswick Literary Modernists.” Making Canada New: Editing, Modernism, and New Media. Ed. Dean Irvine, Vanessa Lent, and Bart Vautour. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2017. 307-326.

---. “‘People are made of places’: Perspectives on Region in Atlantic-Canadian Literature.” The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature. Ed. Cynthia Sugars. New York: Oxford UP, 2016. 657-675.

---. “Strategy and Vision for an Intercultural New Brunswick in the Recent Poetry of Herménégilde Chiasson and the Translation of Jo-Anne Elder.” Quebec Studies: Special Issue on Literary Translation 50 (Fall 2010/Winter 2011): 97-111.

---. “Theorizing New Brunswick’s Self-Sufficiency: Is There a Place for Culture at the Heart of Socio-Economic Renewal?” Exploring the Dimensions of Self-Sufficiency for New Brunswick. Ed. Michael Boudreau, Peter Toner, and Tony Tremblay. Fredericton: New Brunswick and Atlantic Studies Research & Development Centre, 2009. 245-63.

Tweedie, Robert, Fred Cogswell, and W. Stewart MacNutt, eds. Arts In New Brunswick. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1967.

Wainwright, Andrew, ed. Literary Atlas of Atlantic Canada/Atlas littéraire du Canada atlantique. Halifax: Dalhousie University, 2014.

Wyile, Herb. Anne of Tim Hortons: Globalization and the Reshaping of Atlantic-Canadian Literature. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2011.