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Athabasca University

Selected Bibliography of Works by Alden Nowlan

by Greg Cook


A Darkness in the Earth. Eureka, Calif.: Hearse Press. 1958.

The Rose and the Puritan. Fredericton, N.B.: University of New Brunswick, 1958.

Wind in A Rocky Country. Toronto: Emblem Books, 1960.

Under the Ice. Toronto: Ryerson, 1961

Five New Brunswick Poets. [Elizabeth Brewster, Fred Cogswell, Robert Gibbs, Alden Nowlan, Kay Smith.] Fredericton, N.B.: Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1962.

The Things Which Are. Toronto: Contact, 1962.

Bread, Wine and Salt. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1967.

The Mysterious Naked Man. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1969.

Playing the Jesus Game: Selected Poems. Trumansburg, NY: New/Books, 1970.

Between Tears and Laughter. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1971.

I’m a Stranger Here Myself. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974.

Shaped by This Land. With Tom Forrestall, painter. Fredericton: Brunswick Press: 1974.

Smoked Glass. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1977.

I Might Not Tell Everybody This: poems. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1982.

Early Poems. Fredericton, N.B.: Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1983. An Exchange of Gifts: Poems New and Selected. Edited and with an introduction by Robert Gibbs. Toronto: Irwin, 1985.

What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread: Poems. [Edited and Introduced by Thomas R. Smith] Minneapolis: Nineties Press; St. Paul: Distributed by Ally Press Center, 1993 and [With an "Afterword" by Thomas R. Smith] Thousands Press, 2000.

The Best of Alden Nowlan. Ed. Allison Mitcham. Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot, 1993.

Alden Nowlan: Selected Poems. Eds. Lorna Corzier and Patrick Lane. Don Mills, Ont.: House of Anansi, 1996.


Miracle at Indian River. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1968.

Various Persons Named Kevin O’Brien .Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1973.

Will Ye Let the Mummers In. Toronto: Irwin, 1984.

The Wanton Troopers. [Written in 1961] Fredericton: Goose Lane, 1988.


The Dollar Woman, with Walter Learning (premiere 1972). New Canadian Drama 2. Patrick B. O’Neill, Ed. Borealis Press: 1981.

Frankenstein. With Walter Learning. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1973.

The Incredible Murder of Cardinal Tosca, with Walter Learning. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1978.

Gardens of the Wind. [A poem for voices, CBC radio broadcast] Saskatoon: Thistledown, 1982.

Essays, History and Adaptations

Campobello: The Outer Island. Clarke, Irwin, 1975.

Double Exposure. Fredericton, N.B.: Brunswick Press, 1978.

Nine Micmac Legends. Illus. Shirley Bear. [Written during recovery following 1966 surgery] Lancelot, 1983 [5th printing: 1987].

White Madness. Ed. Robert Gibbs. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1996.

Road Dancers. Ed. Robert Gibbs. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1999.

Books and Articles in Books on and about Alden Nowlan

Bly, Robert. "This Moment of Suffering and Confusion." Foreword in What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread: Poems by Alden Nowlan, Nineties & Thousands Press (Saint Paul, Minnesota: 1993 & 2000).

____. "For Alden Nowlan, with Admiration," introduction to Playing the Jesus Game: Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan. Trumansburg, NY: New/Books (1970): 5-10; [subsequently reprinted in The Tamarack Review. 54 (1970): 32-38; and in Tennessee Poetry Journal. 4.1 (1970).]

Smith, Thomas R. "My Family Was Poor: Thinking About Alden Nowlan and Class: Afterword" to What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread: Poems by Alden Nowlan, Nineties Press (Saint Paul, Minnesota: 2000):13-21. [An earlier version of this essay appeared in a special Alden Nowlan issue of the Canadian literary magazine The Pottersfield Portfolio 18: 1 (1997).

____. "In Praise of Alden Nowlan, Introduction" to What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread: Poems by Alden Nowlan, Nineties Press (Saint Paul, Minnesota: 1993): 13-21.

Toner, Patrick. If I could turn and meet myself: the life of Alden Nowlan. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions: 2000.

Gibbs, Robert. "Various Persons Named Alden Nowlan, a bio-critical essay," The Alden Nowlan Papers, Compiler Jean M. Moore; Eds. Apollonia Steele and Jean F. Tuner, University of Calgary Press (Calgary:1992): xi-xiv.

Donovan, Stewart. "Surviving Shared Worlds: The Parish and the Province: Alden Nowlan and Patrick Kavanagh" in Down East: Critical Essays on Contemporary Maritime Literature. Eds. Wolfgang Hochbuck & James Taylor. Stuttgart: Wissenchaftlicher Verlag Trier (1996): 197-208.

Milton, Paul. "The Psalmist and the Sawmill: Alden Nowlan’s Kevin O’Briens" in Children’s Voices in Atlantic Literature and Culture: Essays on Childhood. Ed. Hilary Thompson. Guelph: Canadian Children’s Press(1995): 60-67.

Richards, David Adams. "Lockhartville and Kevin O’Brien" [A 1987 response to the staging of a dramatization based on the fiction of Alden Nowlan] in A Lad from Brantford and Other Essays by David Adams Richards. Fredericton: Broken Jaw Press (1994): 36-42.

Oliver, Michael Brian. "Alden Nowlan and his works," in Canadian writers and their works: poetry series, 7. Toronto: ECW Press (1990): 77-132.

____. ____. Toronto: ECW Press (1991): 56 pp.

____. Poet’s Progress: The Development of Alden Nowlan’s Poetry. Fredericton: Fiddlehead Poetry Books (1978)

Cogswell, Fred. "Alden Nowlan as Regional Atavist" in Encounters and Explorations: Canadian Writers and European Critics. Eds., Franz K. Stanzel and Waldemar Zacharasiewicz. Wurzburg: Konigshausen & Neumann (1986): 37-55. [Reprinted with minor revisions from Studies in Canadian Literature. 11:2 (Fall 1986): 206-25.]

Howroyd, Stacy, Alden Nowlan: writer and poet, written and illustrated by Stacy Howroyd. Fredericton, N.B.: Literacy Council of Fredericton, 1984. ("Skill level 2," Readers for new literates.)


Metcalf, John. "Alden Nowlan: Interviewed by John Metcalf." Canadian Literature 63 (1975): 8-17.

Cockburn, Robert. An Interview in "The Alden Nowlan Special Issue." Fiddlehead 81 (1969): 5-13. [Also features essays by Ernest Buckler, Gregory Cook, Louis Dudek, Jesse Hill Ford, Anne Greer, and Edward S. (Sandy) Ives.]

Gregory Cook, "An Interview with Alden Nowlan." Amethyst 2:4 (Summer 1963): 15-25.


Graves, Roy Neil. "Nowlan’s ‘The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner.’" Explicator 55. 2 (1997): 107-11.

Cook, Greg. "The wine of astonishment: Lines in the life of New Brunswick’s national poet." New Brunswick Reader. 27 (June 1998): 5-8.

____. "One Heart, One Way: a life of Alden Nowlan," Nashwaak Review. (Fall 1996): 173-179.

____ . "Alden Nowlan: Something rare and beautiful," New Brunswick Reader 29 (April 1995): 9-12.

Milton, Paul. "Various Persons Named Kevin O’Brien: Nowlan’s Novel Response to the Critics." Studies in Canadian Literature 23 (1998): 36-48.

Pottersfield Portfolio 18:1 (1997) features reminiscences by Nowlan’s literary executor, RobertGibbs; his newspaper employers, Ralph Costello and Fred Hazel; his editor for his Governor General’s Award-winning book, Roy MacSkimming; acquaintances and friends Brian Bartlett, Dave Butler, Lesley Choyce, Fred Cogswell, Greg Cook, Louis Cormier, Leo Ferrari, Sharon Fraser, Raymond Fraser and David Adams Richards.

Scott, Virginia. "‘Down Shore’: Alden Nowlan’s Poetry in the late Sixties." American Review of Canadian Studies 22.1 (Spring 1992): 23-38.

Sandra Djwa, "Alden Nowlan: 1933-83." Canadian Literature 101 (1984): 180-183.

Anonymous, Editor’s memorial introduction to Alden Nowlan’s short story, "About Memorials," published posthumously in The Fiddlehead 137 (1983): 20.

Lesley Choyce, Memorial introduction and his "Alden Nowlan Interview" by mail two months before Nowlan died. Pottersfield Portfolio 5 (1983): 2-3.

Tyrwhitt, Janice. "The Man from Desolation Creek." Reader’s Digest (March 1984): 67-71.

Bieman, Elizabeth. "Wrestling with Nowlan’s Angel." Canadian Poetry 2 (1978): 43-50.

Oliver, Michael. "The Presence of Ice: The Early Poetry of Alden Nowlan." Studies in Canadian Literature 1 (1976): 210-22.

____."Dread of the Self: Escape and Reconciliation in the Poetry of Alden Nowlan." Essays on Canadian Writing 5 (1976): 50-66.

Baxter, Marilyn. "Wholly Drunk or Wholly Sober?" Canadian Literature 68-69 (1976): 106-11.

Mandel, Ann. "Useful Fictions: Legends of the Self in Roth, Blaise, Kroetsch, and Nowlan." Ontario Review: A North American Journal of the Arts 3 (1975): 26-32.

Ustick, Michael. "Repression: The Poetry of Alden Nowlan." Canadian Literature 60 (1974): 43-50.

Cameron, [Silver] Donald. "The Poet from Desolation Creek." Saturday Night (May 1973): 28-32.

Fraser, Keath. "Notes on Alden Nowlan." Canadian Literature 45 (1970): 41-51.

Theses / Dissertations on Alden Nowlan and his Works

Lawson, Craig Paul. "Empty strength and throttled rage: Social class immobility in the poetry and prose of Alden Nowlan." Thesis (M.A.) University of Calgary, 2000.

Cormier, Audrey M. "Regionalism in the fiction of Alistair MacLeod, Alden Nowlan, and David Adams Richards." Thesis (M.A.), University of New Brunswick, Dept. of English, 2000.

Balsom, Edwin James. "Dialogic regional voices: A study of selected contemporary Atlantic-Canadian fiction (Alden Nowlan, Susan Kerslake, John Steffler, David Adams Richards)." Dissertation (Ph.D.), Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1999.

Callbeck, Janette Ellen, "Journey toward scepticism: The novels of Alden Nowlan." Thesis (M.A.), Acadia University, 1998.

Steeves, Winston Andrew. "Alden Nowlan’s letters to Raymond Fraser: 1961-1977."Thesis (M.A.), Acadia University, 1996.

Toner, Patrick. "The passionate profane: puritanism and paganism in the poetry of Alden Nowlan." Thesis (M.A.), Carleton University, 1993.

Jacquot, Martine. "Dream as an escape in Alden Nowlan’s fiction." Thesis (M.A.) Acadia University, 1986.

Manitt, Orin. "The changing perception of time as an index of heroic venture in the poetry of Alden Nowlan." Thesis (M.A.), Concordia University, 1984.

Zanes, John Page, "Where the Fiddleheads Grow And the Wind Blows Blue: A Consideration of a Canadian Literary Tradition." Dissertation (PhD), The University of Texas at Austion, 1979.

Greer, Anne Johnston. "Alienation and affirmation in the work of Alden Nowlan." Thesis (M.A.), Acadia University, 1973.


Oliver, Michael. "Alden Nowlan (1933-83)." Lecker, Robert, Jack David and Ellen Quigley (Eds.). ECW’s Biographical Guide to Canadian Poets. Toronto: ECW, 1993: 220-28.

The Alden Nowlan Papers, Compiler Jean M. Moore; Eds. Apollonia Steele and Jean F. Tuner. University of Calgary Press. Calgary:1992.


Audio: "Alden Nowlan’s Maritimes: poems and short story," [with commentary] script for [CBC] radio broadcast and sound recording, 1971.

Film: Alden Nowlan: an introduction, National Film Board, 1984.

Brochure: Inklings. League of Canadian Poets, [1980?]

Broadsheet: A Black plastic button and a yellow yoyo: poems. Illus. Charles Pachter. Toronto: Massey College Press, 1968.

Poster: X-ray. Calgary: Poetry Goes Public, 1978.


  • Governor General’s Award (1967) for Bread, Wine and Salt
  • Guggenheim fellow (1967)
  • University of Western Ontario’s President’s Medal for Fiction (1970)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of New Brunswick (1971)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Dalhousie University (1976)
  • Canadian Author’s Association Silver Medal (1978)
  • Queen’s Jubilee Medal (1979)

Updated February 12 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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