TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Irving Layton, one of Canada's greatest
poets, and certainly its most controversial, would have turned 100 on
March 12, 2012, and the country is celebrating.
From Goose Bay in Labrador, to Whitehorse in the Yukon, to Victoria on
Vancouver Island, cities across this country will be holding
celebrations to honour the centenary of Layton's birth.
"The response has been overwhelming," says Layton's eldest son, Max, who
is co-ordinating the huge nation-wide event, and is a poet and
songwriter himself. "I never dreamed there would be such an outpouring
of affection for my dad. It's unprecedented. Never before has Canada
united from coast to coast to celebrate the birth of a poet!"
Celebrations are scheduled for the days surrounding Layton's birth in
every major city in all ten provinces.
The list of cities includes: Goose Bay, Corner Brook, St. Johns,
Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Fredericton, St. John, Montreal,
Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto (at Harbourfront), Niagara-on-the-Lake,
Windsor, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Whitehorse,
Vancouver, Bowen Island, and Victoria.
Participants will be such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Barry
Callaghan, Scott Griffin, Dennis Lee, Jacob MacArthur Mooney, Anna
Porter, Moses Znaimer, and Canada's Poet Laureate, Fred Wah, who will
be reading their favourite Layton poems and sharing their memories.
Twice nominated for the Nobel Prize, and the author of more than forty
books of poetry, Irving Layton was born in Romania and was brought to
this country at the age of one by parents who did not speak a word of
English. Incredibly, Layton rose from the slums of Montreal to
influence generations of younger poets such as Al Purdy and Leonard
As Cohen famously said: "I taught him how to dress, and he taught me how
to live forever!"
"Layton was a force of nature and creativity, with a big heart, and a
warm sense of humour. He could also be very exacting," says McClelland
& Stewart Publisher Ellen Seligman, who worked with Layton in the 80s,
and edited Waiting for the Messiah, Layton's revealing and personal memoir.
The culmination of Layton's extraordinary career is the publication A Wild, Peculiar Joy (McClelland & Stewart, 2004), the definitive selection of his poems,
edited by Sam Solecki.
For a list of scheduled events and participants, please visit www.irvinglayton.ca or go to the Irving Layton Centenary HUB page on Facebook. Thanks to
Canadian booksellers for their ongoing support of poetry, and
additional thanks to Indigo for their special support of the Irving
Layton national centenary event.
SOURCE McClelland and Stewart
For further information:
Media contact: Ruta Liormonas, Publicity Manager at McClelland & Stewart, 647-788-3978, firstname.lastname@example.org