The Spirit of Solitude: Conventions and Continuities in Late Romance. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Poems Twice Told: The Boatman & Welcoming Disaster. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1981.

“Beauty and the Beast” and Some Relatives. Toronto: Toronto Public Library, 1974.

Welcoming Disaster: Poems, 1970-4. Toronto: Saannes Publications, 1974.

Pratt’s Romantic Mythology: The Witches’ Brew. St. John’s Nfld.: Memorial University, 1972.

The Boatman and Other Poems. Toronto: Oxford UP, 1968.

Four Ages of Man: The Classical Myths. Toronto: Macmillan, 1962.

A Dry Light & The Dark Air. Toronto: Hawkshead Press, 1959.

The Boatman. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1957.

O Earth Return. Toronto: Emblem Books, 1954.

Nineteen Poems. Mallorca, Spain: Seizin Press, 1952.

A Country Without a Mythology. n.p.: 195?.


Berner, Audrey. “The ‘Unicorn’ Poems of Jay Macpherson.” Journal of Canadian Poetry 3 (1980): 9-16.

“Comments (On the Practice of Alluding).” University of Toronto Quarterly 61.3 (1992): 381-390.

Keith, W.J. “Jay Macpherson’s Welcoming Disaster: a Reconsideration.” Canadian Poetry 36 (1995): 32-43.

Namjoshi, Suniti. “In the Whale’s Belly: Jay Macpherson’s Poetry.” Canadian Literature 79 (1978): 54-59.

Reaney, James. “The Third-Eye Macpherson’s The Boatman.” Canadian Literature 3 (1960): 23-34.


1958: Governor General’s Award, The Boatman

1957: President’s Medal, University of Western Ontario, 1957

1957: Levinson Prize

Jay Macpherson was born in London, England, in 1931. Nine years later, she and her parents immigrated to Newfoundland, and Macpherson has since made Canada her home. She attended McGill University and the University of Toronto, and taught in the University's English Department from 1957-1996. Macpherson is best known for her mythopoeic poetry, owing to her interest in Northrop Frye's theories of myth and mythic displacement. Her poem cycle The Boatman (1958) won the Governor General's Award for Poetry.

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