Showing 16 results

Archival description
Irving Layton fonds Series
Advanced search options
Print preview View:

Personal papers

The series consists of bills, finances, invoices, personal papers including birth certificates and passports, certificates, awards, and travel itinerary.


The series contains photographs illustration the life of Irving Layton. Material consists of early photographs of Layton at Herzliah Junior High School, Layton at the Hebrew Orphan Home, portraits of Layton from various photographers, photographs of Layton with Aviva and David Layton, Layton with Anna Pottier, photographs of Max and Naomi Layton, photographs at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Oakville, Ontario, and at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Also included are photographs of trips including Layton’s trip to Italy, Greece, and Hong Kong.


Series consists of reviews written by Layton and reviews of Layton works including Balls for a One Armed Juggler, The Blue Propeller, The Covenant, The Cold Green Element, Final Reckoning, For My Brother Jesus, The Black Huntsman, Collected Poems, The Gucci Bag, Improved Binoculars, A Wild Peculiar Joy, Waiting for the Messiah, Here and Now, and A Red Carpet for the Sun.


The series documents Irving Laytons relations with his surroundings. It contains correspondence written or received by Irving Layton.
The material includes letters, postcards, cards, and telegrams between Layton and familly members, friends, professionals, artists, bookstores, publishers, libraries, the Quebec government, colleges, and universities. Also present are letters published in journals and newspapers and handwritten or typed letters from fans. The series contains postcards from various regions including: Toronto, Ontario, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Verona, Italy, Venice, Italy, Hawaii, USA, Florence, Italy, several regions of Spain, France, Kenya, and Greece. Other correspondence includes praise for his work, request and payment for books of poetry, thank you notes from readers and those who purchased books directly from Layton, invitations to do readings, correspondence between Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen, and requests for autographed works.

Manuscripts, poems, articles, and essays

Series contains unpublished and published poems, manuscripts, articles and essays written by Irving Layton. Material consists of copies of poems, poems that were to be included in an Anthology of Student Verse that was never published, and signed copies of offprints. The series also contains a forward to Layton’s published work For My Brother Jesus, an introduction to the Korean Poet Kim Yang-Sik, Layton’s poem “Suzanne” and chapter titled “Irving” in A Soviet Odyssey and forwards from Wynne Francis, David O’Rourke, and Northorp Frye. Also included are edited drafts of poems and manuscripts contained in Layton’s numerous publications including: Balls for a One-Armed Juggler, Nail Polish, The Gucci Bag, Waiting for the Messiah, and Final Reckoning: Poems 1982-1986. The material also includes poetry written to Layton by admirers and published poetry about Layton.

Public appearances and publicity

Series contains records promoting Irving Layton’s public appearances and readings. Material consists of advertisement for readings at Festival of Arts at McMaster University, for appearances at the International Conference featuring “Those Who Write About Our Time” at Long Island University, at the Poetry Centre in New York, participation at the Canadian Conference of Arts, a panel entitled “The Politics of Layton’s Poetry” at Bethune College, and his participation at the Foster Poetry Conference


Series contains scrapbooks relating to the Irving Layton fonds. Material consists of five scrapbooks. Scrapbook number one contains the complete run of the magazine Directions edited by R. Souster, W. Goodwin and D. Mullen. The second scrapbook contains newspaper clippings of interviews with Layton, poems dedicated to Layton, letters to the editor by Layton, and reviews and announcements of poetry readings. Scrapbook number three contains poems dedicated to Layton, poems by Layton, letters to the editors about and by Layton, and reviews of reading tours and conferences. The fourth scrapbook includes interviews with Layton, poems dedicated to Layton, letters to the editor by Layton, letters addressed to Layton, announcements and reviews of poetry readings, and profiles of Layton. The fifth scrapbook contains poems dedicated to Layton, letters to the editor by Layton and announcements and reviews of poetry readings.


Series contains newspaper articles about Irving Layton from international and national newspapers, including the Gazette, the Toronto Star, the Georgian, the Telegram, and the Poetry Canada Review.

Notebooks and journals

The series contains notebooks and journals written by Irving Layton and includes sketches of several of Layton’s poems and journal entries about the author’s day and trips.


Series consists of a bust depicting Irving Layton, carved by Lyman E. Francis and a plaque dedicated to Irving Layton from Baron Byng High School in Montreal.

Audio recordings

Series contains audio recordings relating to the Irving Layton fonds. Material consists of several recordings of the Pierre Berton Show, interviews with Layton including several interviews with Malka Cohen, Layton on talk shows including Special Occasions, Identities, and Crossfires, and several tapes of Layton’s lectures.


Series contains drawings, sketches, and paintings given to Irving Layton.


Series contains agendas, public reading schedules, calendars, invitations, and programs for different events.

Video recordings

Series contains video recordings relating to the Irving Layton fonds. Material consists of videocassettes and reels of interviews with Layton, poetry readings given by Layton, and different television, music and film personalities talking about the importance of reading and literacy, which includes a brief talk about Layton’s works.

Interviews and interview transcripts

Series contains audio interviews conducted by David O’Rourke for Layton’s memoirs Waiting for the Messiah as well as typed and handwritten transcripts of these interviews. The series also contains court transcripts of the Karen J. Pietkiewicz v. Elspeth Cameron case.

Conferences and festivals

The series documents Irving Layton's participation in various conferences and festivals. It contains conference agendas and programs, participant information, conference background and Irving Layton’s name tags from various conferences he attended.