Irving Layton

Irving Layton (born March 12, 1912) is a Canadian poet. He was born as Israel Pincu Lazarovitch in a small village in Romania to Jewish parents. His family emigrated to Montreal in 1913 and they settled in the vibrant Jewish section of that city. Layton vigorously pursued his education. He attended Macdonald College and McGill University and began to teach while experimenting with poetry. His intimate, personal voice was present in his first published collection, Here and Now (1945).

Layton became a strong socialist while at university and became active in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. Because of this activity he was blacklisted and banned from entering the United States for the next two decades.

Layton's activism and poetry had made him an internationally known celebrity by the 1950s and he a fixture on early Canadian television. He travelled widely abroad and became especially popular in South Korea and Italy and in 1981 these two nations nominated him for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He did not win, but was honoured by the nomination.

Layton published a book almost every year. A Red Carpet for the Sun (1959) won the Governor General's Award. Collected Poems (1965) contains work from over twenty volumes of poetry. The Collected Poems of Irving Layton (1971) and A Wild Peculiar Joy 1945-1982 (1982) are among his larger collections. A recent title is Butterfly on Rock (1991). Human love continues to be his favourite theme.

Layton today lives in retirement in Montreal.

From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia and The Canadian Encyclopedia

Additional links:
The Irving Layton Website
Irving Layton - University of Toronto Library
Literary Montreal - Irving Layton
University of Calgary - Irving Layton
Irving Layton, Pseudo-Prophet — A Reappraisal by Peter Hunt
Online Guide to Writing in Canada - Irving Layton
One Zero Zero Virtual Library - Irving Layton
CBC Life and Times - A Red Carpet for the Sun: The Life and Times of Irving Layton

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Lord Byron

"So We'll Go No More A-Roving"

So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart still be as loving,
And the moon still be as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.


Additional links:
Lord Byron: A Comprehensive Study of His Life and Work
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron

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A.M. Klein

A.M. Klein (1909-1972) Abraham Moses Klein was born in Ratno, Ukraine. His family moved to Montreal in 1910, where Klein spent the rest of his life. An orthodox Jew by education he eventually turned to Zionism. After entering McGill University in 1926 he began to associate with students involved in the McGill Fortnightly Review (although he never published anything in it), including Leon Edel, Leo Kennedy, F.R. Scott and A.J.M. Smith. He did however publish early work in Poetry (Chicago) and The Canadian Forum. He graduated from the Université de Montréal law school in 1933 and began an unenthusiastic practice. His contact, in the early 1940s, with writers associated with First Statement and Preview coincided with the publication of Poems and The Hitleriad (1944) and The Rocking Chair and Other Poems (1948) which won him the coveted Governor General's Award. His novel, The Second Scroll (1951) was inspired by visits to Israel and to Jewish refugee camps in Europe and North Africa.

In Ludwig Lewison's preface to Hath Not a Jew ... he calls Klein "the first contributor of authentic Jewish poetry to the English language." Klein's translations of Y.Y. Segal and other Yiddish and Hebrew writers provided a distinct stimulus to other Jewish writers in Montreal such as Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, Seymour Mayne and Mordecai Richler.

From One Zero Zero

Additional links:
University fo Calgary - A.M. Klein
University of Toronto Library - A.M. Klein
Canadian Poetry Archive - A.M. Klein

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Villanelle for Our Time

Anjani Thomas talks about the recording of "Villanelle for Our Time" in an interview discussing her work and Leonard (page 2).

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Frank Scott

F.R.(Francis Reginald) Scott was born in Québec City, Québec, in 1899. He died in Montréal in 1985. He was a Rhodes scholar and went to Magdalen Coll, Oxford. After his return to Canada, Scott enrolled in the law program at McGill University. He would later return to teach law at McGill, and eventually, after giving up partisan politics, was named the Dean of Law at McGill (1961-64). As a member of the "Montréal Group" (an informal group in Montréal that included Scott's close friend, poet A.J.M. Smith) he helped to found The Canadian Mercury journal. Well reknowned for his social activism, Scott was the national chairman of the CCF from 1942 to 1950 and was involved in the transition of the CCF to the NDP. Scott won the Governor General's Literary Award in the poetry category in 1981 for his book, Collected Poems.

From University of Calgary - F.R. Scott

Additional links:
F. R. Scott by Sandra Djwa
The World for a Country: An Edited Interview with Frank Scott
Canadian Poets - Criticism about F.R. Scott

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Raffi Hakopian

Raffi Hakopian stunned audiences with his "gypsy" violin performances. Leonard first heard Raffi playing at a club in Los Angeles. Raffi's work is featured on the Recent Songs and I'm Your Man albums and he toured with Leonard in 1979 and 1980.

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Bill Ginn

Bill Ginn toured with Leonard in 1979, 1980 and 1993. He performed on Recent Songs and also co-produced The Future album.

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Paul Ostermayer

Paul is featured on the Cohen Live album and toured with Leonard in 1979, 1980 and 1993.

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