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Seymour Mayne fonds

[multiple media]


2.815 m of textual records.
24 drawings: pen and black ink; coloured markers.
4 collages: cut and paste.
4 photographs: b&w.;
3 prints: etching; aquatint; photomechanical reproduction.
2 address stamps.
35 audio reels (9 h, 5 min).
2 videocassettes.

Seymour Mayne, poet, editor, translator, was born in Montreal on 18 May 1944 and began writing poetry at an early age. His poems appeared in several Canadian magazines before he was twenty years old. He studied English at McGill University and founded 'Cataract', a little magazine, in 1961 with K.V. Hertz, Leonard Angel and Henry Moscovitch, young poets under the influence of Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen. During his McGill years, he edited 'The Page', a broadside of student poetry, and 'Catapult', the successor to 'Cataract'. In addition, he wrote and published two chapbooks of poems: 'That Monocycle the moon' (Montreal: self-published, 1964) and 'Tiptoeing on the mount' (Montreal: McGill Poetry Series, 1965).

He went to the University of British Columbia in 1965 to do his graduate studies and received his Master of Arts degree in 1966. In that year, he founded Very Stone House Press in Vancouver with Patrick Lane, bill bissett and Jim Brown, and it published his third book of poems, 'From the portals of mouseholes'. His fourth book, 'Manimals, a comic diversion', appeared in 1969 from Very Stone House as did a number of his broadsides and experiments in concrete poetry. He continued to write more serious poems, a volume of which, 'Mouth' (Kingston: Quarry Press, 1970), appeared the following year.

Very Stone House ceased operations in 1970 and in its place Mayne created Ingluvin Publications with K.V. Hertz. For one of its first projects, he assisted Dorothy Livesay with the editing of the anthology '40 Women poets of Canada' (Montreal: Ingluvin, 1971). During this period, he also edited 'Engagements: The Prose of Irving Layton' (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972) and wrote his PhD thesis on the poetry of Irving Layton.

After producing several volumes of poetry and prose and two issues of its little magazine, Ingluvin collapsed in 1973. Mayne, who in the meantime had graduated, returned to eastern Canada that year and took up a teaching position at the University of Ottawa. He created a new venture, Valley Editions (which soon joined with Mosaic Press of Oakville), to complete the projects left unfinished by Ingluvin, and continued to write poetry.

'Name' (Erin, Ont.: Porcépic Press, 1975) won the J.I. Segal Prize for English-French literature and the York University Poetry Workshop Award. It was followed by 'Diasporas' (Oakville: Mosaic Press/Valley Editions, 1977),'The Impossible promised land: poems new and selected' (Oakville: Mosaic Press/Valley Editions, 1981),'Children of Abel' (Oakville: Mosaic Press, 1986), and 'Killing time' (Oakville: Mosaic Press, 1992), which won the Jewish Book Committee Prize. Three volumes of his poems have been translated into Hebrew and published in Israel.

In addition to writing and publishing, Mayne has been a prolific translator of poetry from the Polish, Yiddish, and Hebrew. He has translated or co-translated works by Jerzy Harasymowicz, Abraham Sutzkever, Rachel Korn, Moshe Dor, Shlomo Vinner, and Melech Ravitch. He won an American Literary Translators Association Award in 1990 for his translations from the Yiddish.

He has also been active in the academic field, editing or co-editing two volumes of Irving Layton's poetry, 'A Wild peculiar joy' (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982) and 'Selected poems', 1945-89 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1989); a volume of criticism, 'Irving Layton: the poet and his critics' (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1978); and two anthologies of Jewish Canadian poetry, 'Essential words' (Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1985) and 'Jerusalem' (Montreal: Vehicule Press, 1996). From 1974 to 1981 he was an editor of the literary journal 'Jewish dialog' and since 1991 he has been on the editorial board of 'Parchment', an annual of contemporary Jewish writing.


Fonds consists of literary and personal correspondence between Seymour Mayne and leading Canadian poets of the 1960s and 1970s; manuscripts, correspondence, financial records, address stamps and other documents relating to the small presses and little magazines, Cataract, The Page, Catapult, Very Stone House, Ingluvin Publications, and Mosaic Press/Valley Editions; working manuscripts and drafts of Mayne's poems, books of poetry, translations, film and radio scripts, cover mock-ups and drawings, and scholarly writings; and clippings and memorabilia of his career as a poet and a publisher. The material has been arranged in the following series: Correspondence; Little magazines; Very Stone House; Ingluvin Publications; Mosaic Press/Valley Editions; Literary manuscripts - poetry series; Literary manuscripts - translations series; Literary manuscripts - miscellaneous Series; Scholarly work; Clippings and printed material; and Memorabilia.

Audio-visual material consists of interviews, poetry readings, and out-takes from the CBC Anthology series.

Photographic material relates to Seymour Mayne's career as a poet including a home-made Christmas card from Dorothy Livesay, dated 1966, with a portrait of Livesay and a short poem by her; a graduation photograph of Seymour Mayne, McGill University, 1965; two copies of some of the audience at the World poetry Conference, Montréal, October 1967, in which Seymour Mayne, Patrick Lane, A.J.M. Smith and possibly George Barker are distinguishable.

MG31-D253 — Correspondence [textual record] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Little magazines [textual record] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Very Stone House [textual record, object] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Ingluvin Publications [textual record, graphic material, object] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Mosaic Press/Valley Edition [textual record, graphic material] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Literary manuscripts-poetry [textual record, graphic material] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Literary manuscripts-translations [textual record, graphic material] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Literary manuscripts-miscellaneous [textual record] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Scholarly work [textual record] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Clippings and printed material [textual record] ( Série)
MG31-D253 — Memorabilia [textual record] ( Série)

NEW: R5597-0-0-E

      Textual records: Access restrictions. r000000619.pdf

Photographs: Permission of donor required for copying. Copyright is unknown. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative no.

Moving images and sound recordings: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders and in some cases of the donor; please see item level descriptions for details.

Artwork and objects: Various copyrights.

Papier - Textual records: Finding Aid is a file list. No. MSS2099

Électronique - Textual records: Finding aid. No. MSS2099 p000000626.pdf

Papier - Artistic material: Listing in accession file.

Électronique - Sound recordings and moving images: See MISACS for item level descriptions.


Received from Seymour Mayne of Ottawa, Ont., in 1978 and 1996.

Mayne, Seymour, 1944- /


Poets, Canadian - Correspondence
Irving Layton
Poets, Canadian - Manuscripts
Dorothy Livesay
Poetry - Editing
Patrick Lane
Poetry - Publishing
K.V. Hertz
Poetry - Translating
Joe Rosenblatt
Little magazines
Tom Marshall
Literature - Periodicals
Marya Fiamengo
Publishers and publishing - Canada
Red Lane
Jewish authors
Pat Lowther
Jewish Canadians
Earle Birney
Jewish literature - Canada
John Glassco
Jews - Canada - Publishing
Al Purdy
Joseph Sherman
A.M. Klein
Patrick Anderson
Myra Mcfarlane
Very Stone House
Ingluvin Publications
Valley Editions
Mosaic Press
The Page



MIKAN 107211
Updated: 2006-03 from MIKAN3

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