Joseph Howard Sherman, CM, MA, was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 1945, and raised in Whitney Pier, near Sydney, Cape Breton Island. He received his BA and MA from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and taught English in Edmundston, New Brunswick, from 1970 to 1979. In 1979 he moved to Charlottetown, where he became the long-time editor of the magazine, ARTSatlantic. Through this publication he has been credited with putting Atlantic art on the Canadian map, bringing a vitality and sense of identity to the region.

Joe was winner of the Bliss Carman Award in 1968, the Royal Society of Arts Silver Medal in 1994, the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts in PEI in 1997, and the Betty and Morris Aaron–Henry Fuerstenberg Prize in Poetry in 2002. He became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2002.

As the author of seven books of poetry, creator and curator of the Confederation Centre of the Arts’ Writing on the Wall series, a founder of Saturday Morning Chapbooks, and a dedicated member of the League of Canadian Poets, Joe contributed immeasurably to the writing and artistic communities of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic region, and Canada.

He leaves behind his wife Ann, children Rebekah and Matthew, mother Beatrice, and three grandchildren.

Books by Joseph Sherman


  • Birthday (New Brunswick Chapbooks,1969)
  • Chaim the Slaughterer (Oberon, 1974)
  • Lords of Shouting (Oberon,1982)
  • Shaping the Flame: Imagining Wallenberg (Oberon,1989)
  • American Standard and Other Poems (Oberon,2001)
  • Worried Into Being: An Unfinished Alphabet (Oberon, 2005)

Selected Anthologies


  • Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets (Avon,1980)
  • Open Windows: Canadian Short Stories (Quarry Press, 1988)
  • A Point on a Sheet of Green Paper: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (Ofir Publishing, 1992)
Authored Books: