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DUDEK, LOUIS, 1918-2001

Louis Dudek fonds. - 1940-1990. - 15 m of textual record.

Biographical Sketch

Manuscript page from Louis Dudek's ATLANTIS

Manuscript page from notebook I for Louis Dudek's Atlantis.

Poet, editor, literary critic, publisher and teacher, Louis Dudek was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1918. Following his undergraduate studies at McGill University, Dudek worked as an advertising copywriter and freelance journalist. In 1943, he began graduate studies in journalism and history at Columbia University, but soon changed his major to literature. Following completion of his Ph.D., he began teaching at City College in New York. In 1951, he returned to Montreal and began lecturing in modern poetry at McGill University where he remained until his retirement in 1982. Dudek produced numerous books of poetry and essays, most notably Atlantis (1967), and became a major influence in the development of the long poem with his book-length prose-like meditations. He is considered a major force in Canadian small press publishing. Dudek founded and provided editorial direction to numerous poet-operated and self-financed small presses including First Statement (1942-45) with John Sutherland and Irving Layton, Northern Review (1945-56), Contact Press (1952-54) with Raymond Souster and Irving Layton, The McGill Poetry Series, and Delta Canada (1957-66), known later as D.C. Books. Dudek's Literature and the Press (1960), a revision of his Ph.D. thesis, is a history of printing, printed media, and their relation to literature. He has compiled notable anthologies including The Making of Modern Poetry in Canada (1967) in collaboration with Michael Gnarowski, and Poetry of Our Time (1965), an introduction to 20th century poetry. His most recent publications are Reality Games (1998), a collection of his essays, and The Surface of Time (2000), a collection of poetry.

Scope and Content

The Louis Dudek fonds documents all aspects of Dudek's literary life. The fonds includes correspondence, student work, manuscripts and typescripts of published works, poetry worksheets, radio and television scripts, articles, lectures; teaching and other professional activities; promotional material and critical reception; clippings and memorabilia. In addition, the fonds contains valuable documentation on the development of the small press or little magazine movement in the 1940s and 1950s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Louis Dudek in 1990. [1990-07]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: some restrictions on consultation.

Finding Aid: preliminary finding aid available.

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