Michael Estok

Author: Michael Estok

Profile: Michael John Estok or Michael Estok was a Canadian poet.  He was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada in the year 1939 and died in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia, Canada on July 24, 1989. His most notable work is, A Plague Year Journal, his posthumous collection which is considered to be one of the most crucial works of HIV/AIDS literature in Canada.

He is from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan originally and studied at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto. Michael Estok has taught English literature at the University of Western Ontario, Dalhousie University and University of Waterloo, after which he joined the Universite Sainte-Anne in Pointe-de-I Eglise, Nova Scotia where he taught further for eighteen years.

In 1987, he published, ‘Paradise Garage’, his first poetry collection. In 1989 he passed away due to AIDS, before which he completed, A Plague Year Journal. Arsenal Pulp Press, published his work after his death. His poetry has also appeared in The Fiddlehead and in the Canadian Forum.


Writing style: Michael Estok’s crucial work is related to HIV/AIDS literature in Canada.

Published Texts:


1987 – Paradise Garage

A Plague Year Journal (posthumous publication)



As the Crisis Deepened


Let It Go

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Michael Estok’s poems, ‘Hydrangeas’, ‘As the Crisis Deepened’ and ‘Ordination’ appeared in John Barton and Billeh Nickerson’s 2007 anthology Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay Male Poets.

In the year 2012, his poem, ‘Let It Go’ was recited at The AIDS Quilt Songbook, a benefit concert in New York City staged in conjunction with the NAMES project AIDS Memorial Quilt.