Cultural Literary Landscapes

Italian Canadian Diaspora Poetry as Mediation, Experience, and Myth


  • Abbigail Ketsa University of Alberta, Faculty of Arts, English and Film Studies Undergraduate Program



Literary Studies, Multiculturalism, Poetry, Migration, Language, Italy, Canada, Diaspora, Culture


"Challenging Cultural Literary Landscapes: Poetry as Mediation, Experience, and Myth” was originally written for an Italian special topics course on the experiences of Italian-Canadians. This essay covers the Italian diaspora’s representation in Canadian literature with a concentration on the depiction of ethnicity, race, and culture. Specifically, it aims to examine poetry’s importance to Canadian literature as a means to mediate experiences not easily conceived by prose language. This paper examines poetry by Italian Canadian writers such as Mary de Michele and Antonino Mazza and Jewish-Canadian Leonard Cohen’s first collection of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies. It analyzes poetry’s importance to self-representation and cultural exchange and the complicated networks between identity and narrative through the exploration of themes such as migration, journey, and mythology.