|About the Book|
Little magazines like Alan Crawleys Contemporary Verse are the life blood of literary culture. They provide an ongoing forum in which both well established and new poets can experiment and present their latest work, and it is often with the littleMoreLittle magazines like Alan Crawleys Contemporary Verse are the life blood of literary culture. They provide an ongoing forum in which both well established and new poets can experiment and present their latest work, and it is often with the little magazines, therefore, that litearary change and oringiality have their beginnings.Today there is no shortage of such outlets in Canada. But in 1941, when Alan Crawley began to publish Contemporary Verse in North Vancouver, there were only two in the whole country. Both of these -- Canadian Poetry Magazine and Canadian Forum -- were in the East, and neither was in any way committed to modernism. Contemporary Verse, thus became a major element in the foundations of modern Canadian poetry.In this book Joan McCullagh shows how, between 1941 and 1952, the magazine charted the establishment of modernism in Canadian poetry by publishing, even before 1947, the largest, most impressive, and most representative collection of early forties poetry in the country. Her extensive quotation from the hitherto unbpublished correspondence between Crawley and nearly every major poet of the forties also shows how important and valued a literary influence Crawley himself was as a critic and advisor behind the scenes.Daryl Hine and Jay Macpherson are only two of the poets who were first encouraged and guided by Alan Crawleys private crticism of work they sent him and then first published in Contemporary Verse. Other poets with whom he corresponded at length, and whose poetry he published, including P.K. Page, James Reaney, Louis Dudek, Raymond Souster, Dorothy Livesay, Anne Wilkinson, and Earle Birney.Very few libraries, even in Canada, hold a complete set of the 39 issues of Contemporary Verse. The index to the magazine that Joan McCullagh has compiled and included here will therefore serve not only as a guide to Contemporary Verse itself, but also as an indispensable publishing record of many Canadian poets during the 1940s.