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Elizabeth Brewster

b. Aug. 1922, Chatham, NB; d. Dec. 26, 2012, Saskatoon, SK


1940 University of New Brunswick;
1946 Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Mass.
Graduate School, Indiana University, Bloomington Ind.
Graduate School, King’s College, London UK
1952 BLS, University of Toronto
PhD University of Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.


1947- Teacher, Cobourg, ON, private school (for a few months)
1953- Positions in libraries in Victoria, Ottawa, Sackville, Fredericton and Edmonton
1972-1990 Teacher, University of Saskatchewan


Brewster, Elizabeth (1951). East coast. Toronto: Ryerson Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (1982). The way home: new poems. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (1985). Selected poems of Elizabeth Brewster. Introduction by Tom Marshall. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (1991). The invention of truth. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (1995). Away from home. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (1998). Garden of sculpture. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (2000). Burning bush. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Brewster, Elizabeth (2009). Time & seasons. Ottawa: Oberon Press.

Five New Brunswick poets: :Elizabeth Brewster, Fred Cogswell, Robert Gibbs,

Alden Nowlan, Kay Smith, Fredericton NB: The Fiddlehead, 1962.

Telfer, Nancy (1983). The ballad of Princess Caraboo: a narrative of singular imposition: for mezzo-soprano and piano. Words by Elizabeth Brewster. Oakville, ON: F. Harris Music.


Founding member of The Fiddlehead


1952 E.J. Pratt Award for her second poetry collection Lilloet.
Saskatchewan Book Award for poetry (won twice)
Twice short listed for the Governor General’s Award
Honorary DLitt ,University of New Brunswick
Saskatchewan Lifetime Achievement Award
Queen`s Diamond Jubilee Medal


Dr. Brewster was one of the few Canadian women poets publishing during the 1940s and 50s. Along with her friends, poets P.K. Page and Dorothy Livesay, she helped pave the way for young women poets of following generations. Her first poem was published when she was aged 12. “Dr. Brewster struggled a great deal during the first half of her life and her personal anguish was so severe that once she tried to drown herself but she survived and eventually found her place in life.” In 1968 she met a young writer named Margaret Atwood who gave her a transformative tarot card reading. Both Dr Brewster and Ms. Atwood were living in Edmonton at the time. Dr. Brewster was a librarian and Ms. Atwood a creative writing instructor at the University of Alberta. According to Dr. Brewster the reading of the tarot card indicated that “joy would replace sorrow in the second half of her life.” The future would spill over with great promise and a prolific out-pouring of verse. “I knew Elizabeth well when we were living in Edmonton and kept up with her after that” wrote Ms Atwood in an e-mail. ‘’She was an honest poet, very open, very clear.” Margaret Atwood`s influence stretched somewhat further – offering her a chance to take over the creative writing course and Influencing the choice and arrangement of the poems in her next book and suggested its title. “She finally settled down to a life rich in academia, as well as an auspicious writing career.”


Globe and Mail. “Obituaries” February 5, 2013.
University of Toronto Library Catalogue.

biographies/brewster-elizabeth.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/09 12:54 by lbruce