Day and Night was Dorothy Livesay's first Governor General's Award-winning title and her first book as an established Vancouver writer. Day and Night emerged out of the struggles of the depression and the societal changes brought about as a result of the Second World War. It was one of the first books with Vancouver content to be awarded the Governor General's Award for poetry. This new edition of Day and Night provides an opportunity to revisit Livesay's work in the context of the 125th Anniversary of Vancouver's founding. It is an excellent example of Vancouver's role in the literary and social history of Canada and serves to demonstrate the interrelationship between the city and the rest of Canada. Livesay's notion of social justice is paramount and the struggles faced as a country are exemplified in poems such as 'West Coast' which speaks to the struggle of life during the time of the Second World War.
About the author
Dorothy Livesay’s first book was published in 1928, Green Pitcher (Macmillan), followed by: Signpost (Macmillan, 1932), Day and Night (Ryerson, 1944), Poems for People (Ryerson, 1947), Call My People Home (Ryerson, 1950), New Poems (Emblem, 1955) Selected Poems (Ryerson, 1957), The Unquiet Bed (Ryerson, 1967), The Documentaries (Ryerson, 1968), Plainsongs (Fiddlehead, 1969), Disasters of the Sun (Blackfish, 1971), Collected Poems: The Two Seasons (McGraw-Hill, 1972), Nine Poems of Farewell (Black Moss, 1973), Winnipeg Childhood (Pequis Press, 1973), The Raw Edges (Turnstone, 1981), The Phases of Love (Coach House, 1983) and Feeling the Worlds (Goose Lane/Fiddlehead, 1984). With Beach Holme she has published Ice Age (1975), The Woman I Am (1977), Right Hand, Left Hand (1977) and The Self-Completing Tree (Beach Holme, 1999). She is also the winner of two Governor General’s Awards (1944 and 1947) and the Queen’s Medal. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada (1987), and is considered by many to be the Grand Dame of Canadian poetry. She has had a long career in Canada, the U.S. and Zambia working as an editor, broadcast journalist and university professor with degrees from UBC and U of T in Modern Languages, Education and Social Work as well as a diploma from Sorbonne in Paris. She was the founder, and for many years editor, of the literary quarterly CVII. She is also a founding member of Amnesty International (Canada), the Committee for an Independent Canada, and the League of Canadian Poets. The B.C. book prize for poetry is named in her honour. Dorothy Livesay passed away in 1996 but her contribution to Canadian literature will live on forever.