Saturday, January 21, 2006

Page & Turners Bookstores website article
Page & Turners Bookstores website
Canadian Poet, Irving Layton, Passes Away at Age 93

The author of more than 50 books of poetry, Irving Layton passed away on January 4, 2006 at Maimonides Geriatric Centre on Caldwell Ave. in Cote St. Luc, where he'd been a patient with Alzheimer's disease for the past five years.

Although arrangements have not been completed, the funeral is being planned for Sunday at Paperman and Sons, 3888 Jean Talon St. W.

Once described as being both "the Picasso and the Mae West of poetry," Layton will be remembered not only for his often erotic verse but also for his abrasive ego, outrageous opinions, entertaining love life and bitter feuds, as well as for being a provocative, stimulating teacher.

Layton didn't start to write poetry until he was in his 30s; he once explained that as a schoolboy reading Wordsworth and Byron, he "naturally thought that in order to be a poet one had to be either English or dead, preferably both."

In the 1950s, Irving Layton became one of Leonard Cohen's mentors, and the two remained close after Cohen became internationally famous.

Poetry was always Layton's prime focus, but he also wrote two books of essays and reviews, one with the apt title Taking Sides. He also edited a landmark anthology of Canadian love poetry, Love Where the Nights Are Long.

In 1976, Layton was invested as an officer of the Order of Canada as "a prolific poet whose work has won him renown in Canada who is also widely known elsewhere through translation."

In later years, before Layton went deaf and slipped into what he once called in a poem "the bewildered ghost sounds" of dementia, Anna Pottier, an aspiring wrestler, shared his life.

Layton is survived by his two sons and his two daughters.


Blogger Pramila said...

Im Pramila from India.Im pursuing myP.hd in English literature. I have chosen Layton's poems for my research. I would like some help in this regard. Could you please let me know who I can contact in this regard/

3:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home