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Canadian Writers and Poets on Tape

A guide to library and archival resources.

Find Biographical Information

Before you begin to consult the author’s correspondence, manuscripts, photographs and other primary sources in his or her archive, the first step in the completion of the research project should be gathering background biographical information on the writer (or the poet) in secondary sources:

  • being familiar with the author’s biographical details will provide the historical and literary context of his or her life and contributions to Canadian culture—it will provide you with the “larger picture” of the author and his or her work.   

Literature Resource Center

  • offers critical essays on authors and their works written by academic scholars, and biographical coverage of numerous international writers, including Canadian authors and poets
  • each entry describes the author’s personal information, awards, list of publications, and most importantly, the titles of biographies and autobiographies
  • it also lists the location of the author's archival collection (in a specific library or archives)
  • the resource can be accessed online.   

Biographies, Autobiographies and Memoirs

Titles of specific biographies can be located using the library catalogue.

While reading the author’s biography, autobiography or memoir, also consider for the following factors:

  • the writer’s (or the poet’s) preferred style and/or genre of work
  • the person’s historical time period
  • other authors, poets, and books that influenced the person’s own literary and/or poetic outlook
  • his or her legacy and contributions to culture of Canada.