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Literary Criticism Poetry

New Provinces

Poems of Several Authors

edited by Douglas Lochhead

introduction by Michael Gnarkowski

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1976
Poetry, 20th Century, Canadian
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1976
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When New Provinces first appeared in 1936, it represented four years of planning, argument, and compromise, and an additional two and a half years of correspondence and editorial preparation. This prolonged effort was brought to a successful end with the publication of a slim collection of verse, the work of six writers, Robert Finch, Leo Kennedy, A.M. Klein, E.J. Pratt, F.R. Scott, and A.J.M. Smith.


At the time it was published it received little critical attention and had even less popular appeal; after nearly a year the book had sold only 82 copies, 10 of them to one of the contributors. Only E.K. Brown, writing for University of Toronto Quarterly in 1937, seemed to realize that New Provinces 'marked the emergence ... of a group of poets who may well have a vivifying effect on Canadian poetry.'


Since that time this small volume has been recognized as a monument in Canadian literature, a singular event in a literary process which stemmed from the origins of Canadian modernism and its beginnings in Montreal, marking the first collective effort to introduce poets who came to represent the new establishment.


Michael Gnarowski's introduction tells the fascinating story of the genesis of the idea for the book and the difficulties that were encountered.

About the authors

In the spring of 2001, Douglas Lochhead received the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English-language Literary Arts from the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Member of the Order of Canada, the recipient of honorary doctorates from several universities, Professor Emeritus at Mount Allison University, Senior Fellow and Founding Librarian at Massey College, University of Toronto, and a life member of the League of Canadian Poets. After beginning his career as an advertising copywriter, he became a librarian, a professor of English, a specialist in typography and fine hand printing, and a bibliographer, scholar, and editor — indeed, he has characterized himself as “an unrepentant generalist.” At Mount Allison University, he was a founder and the director of the Centre for Canadian Studies, and he held the Edgar and Dorothy Davidson Chair in Canadian Studies.

Douglas Lochhead's profile page

Michael Gnarkowski is a professor emeritus in Carleton University's English Department.

Michael Gnarkowski's profile page

Other titles by Douglas Lochhead