CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Robert Lecker, Jack David and Ellen Quigley. Introduced by George Woodcock.
Toronto, ON: ECW Press, 1989.
336pp., cloth, $40.00.
ISBN 1-55022-007-1. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Canadian poetry (English)-History and criticism.
Poets, Canadian (English)-Biography.

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Ian Dempsey.

Volume 18 Number 2
1990 March

Every Canadian high school and public librarian must be familiar with this set by now. All the prominent Canadian writers from the beginning to the present are being gathered and explained in twenty hardbound volumes - ten volumes for the novelists and ten for the poets.

Volume 6 in the poetry set has recently been released. It contains Margaret Avison, Ralph Gustafson, Jay Macpherson, P.K. Page and Anne Wilkinson. Each poet is given about sixty pages for "a brief biography of the author, a discussion of the tradition and milieu influencing his/her work, a critical overview section which reviews published criticism on the author, a long section analyzing the author's works, and a selected bibliography listing primary and secondary material." This same information on each author is published separately in paperback at $8.00 each, allowing for more of your students at any one time to find an author.

The treatment of the poets and novelists in this set has been reviewed and praised before, in CM and other journals, as volumes have been published. You do have to purchase these volumes - that's the easy part. The hard part is to convince your students to study only these selected prominent authors; students have an aggravating habit of finding the younger and more obscure authors who have not yet been given the full critical treatment.

Ian Dempsey, Gait Collegiate Institute, Cambridge, ON.
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1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


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