Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fitting Tribute, the Montreal Gazette, Aug 15 06

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette
Montreal Gazette
KRISTIN MORENCY, IRWIN BLOCK of The Gazette contributed to this report, The Gazette
Published: Thursday, August 17, 2006

The naming of a new avenue in Cote St. Luc after the late Montreal poet Irving Layton is a fitting tribute to one of Canada's greatest writers, local poet and essayist David Solway says.

"I knew him for for many years and considered him my uncle," Solway said yesterday at his home in Hudson.

"I would say Irving invented poetry for Canada, and he helped put Montreal on the map."

Layton, his disciple Leonard Cohen, and A.M. Klein before them, "made Canadian poetry," Solway said.

"Better to name a street after a poet than a politician or real-estate developer," he said.

Irving Layton Ave. will be a new residential thoroughfare off Midway Ave., near Parkhaven Ave., Cote St. Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather said.

"Irving Layton is an internationally renowned author and poet who spent much of his life in Cote St. Luc," the mayor said.

"There is an important local connection. We tend to name streets after people who are locally known or internationally known," Housefather added.

"We looked at various names, including (those of) other prominent local residents recently deceased, and decided on (Layton)."

A dedication ceremony is to take place in the late fall, Housefather said.

Members of Layton's family and Cote St. Luc residents will be invited to witness the unveiling of the new street sign.

Layton's family and friends will be welcome to say a few words about him at the ceremony, Housefather added.

Layton died Jan. 4 at the age of 93 after a five-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.

He spent the last years of his life at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Cote St. Luc.

Layton wrote more than 50 books of poetry and remains one of Canada's most prolific and revered writers.

kmorency@thegazette.canwest.com

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