Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Patient and Unhurried

January 5, 2006

In the mid-1960’s, my mother Nina Bruck, was among Irving Layton’s workshop students at Sir George Williams. I recall the rush of energy called my mother, swirling through the house to her desk, in the wake of each night class with Mr. Layton. In 1966, the class published Anvil, a slim, blue anthology, as testament to what a group of apprentice writers had made at the master’s forge. My mother wrote one of the two introductions. Here is a brief excerpt:

...Irving Layton is the workshop, unassuming, witty, gentle, an image difficult to reconcile with the public one of Flashing Irreverence routinely smashing idols on its way to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes. Patient and unhurried, he sacrifices quantity for quality, and is prepared to wait; encourages his students to listen to their inner voice and what it is trying to say, to attempt to express certain conflicts and dissatisfactions in a meaningful way...Part of the poetic picture is the grinding work, the endless polishing of lines. People write because they have to; out of defeat and desire, perhaps, a few poems, occaisonally, a perfect line. The itch persists.

Julie Bruck (San Francisco, CA )

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