Poet, academic, editor and arts organizer, Anne Compton was born on Prince Edward Island in 1947 and has spent much of her life there. This fact shows in much of her work, both poetic and academic. In particular, her first collection of poetry, Opening the Island (2002), confirms that Prince Edward Island holds an important influence over her. Winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 2003 and nominee for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, Opening the Island devotes its first and last sections to exploring the nuances of Island life. Though this was her first book of poetry, she published her poetry widely in Canadian journals during the 1990s.
Additionally, much of her time in the 1990s was spent pursuing a successful career as an academic. Compton has published articles on 19th and 20th-century aesthetics, 17th-century metaphysical poetry, Canadian literature and Maritime literature. In 1994 she published A.J.M. Smith: Canadian Metaphysical, a critical study of this major Canadian poet’s work. Serving in the capacity of anthologist and editor, Compton co-edited Coastlines: The Poetry of Atlantic Canada (2002) and edited The Edge of Home: Milton Acorn from the Island. Compton became the second Islander, after Milton Acorn in 1976, to win the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, for her collection Processional (2005).
Compton currently teaches English in the Department of Humanities and Languages at the University of New Brunswick Saint John. She has served as the organizer of the acclaimed Lorenzo Reading Series and as a member of the New Brunswick Arts Board. Her collection of poems Alongside was published in 2013.