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Gary Geddes fonds. - 1963-1995. - 20 m of textual record.

Biographical Sketch

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1940, Geddes studied at the University of British Columbia (B.A., 1962) and at the University of Toronto (M.A., 1966; Ph.D., 1975). For over 25 years, his has been a multi-faceted literary career. As a poet, his first major success came in 1969 when he was awarded the E.J. Pratt Medal for his book-length poem Letter of the Master of Horse, published in 1973 by Oberon Press. Several important volumes followed, including the acclaimed War and Other Measures (1976) and The Acid Test (1981), which won the Canadian Author's Association National Poetry Prize. He received the Archibald Lampman Poetry Prize in 1990 for No Easy Exit/Salida dificil.

Geddes began another career as an editor and anthologist of Canadian literature while a student at the University of Toronto. Important texts he edited include 20th-Century Poetry and Poetics (1969) and 15 Canadian Poets (1970). The anthologies Skookum Wawa (1975) and Divided We Stand (1977) are among his accomplishments. Geddes has also been active as a publisher and founder of three literary presses. First with the subscription press, Quadrant Editions (1980-1983) and later with Cormorant Books (1984-1990), Geddes demonstrates his desire to establish contact between writers and readers. Geddes has lectured on English literature and creative writing at universities across Canada and since 1978 at Concordia University in Montreal. He continues to give poetry readings and public lectures worldwide. Geddes was nominated for the prestigious Gabriela Mistral Prize offered by the Organization of American States for service to Latin America; however, he actually received a prize under the same name, in honour of the 50th anniversary of Gabriela Mistral's receipt of the Nobel Prize, from the Chilean government in 1996.

Scope and Content

The Gary Geddes fonds documents the outstanding literary career of one of Canada's foremost contemporary men of letters. Geddes is a prolific correspondent whose letters with other well-known writers detail his professional involvement and organizational skills, as well as his role as a literary mentor and editor. The fonds includes personal and professional correspondence; notebooks, worksheets, manuscripts and typescripts of poems, essays, anthologies, articles, reviews and short stories. The fonds also includes the Quadrant Editions records (1980-1989) and the Cormorant Books records (1984-1995). The 1997 accession brings additional personal and literary correspondence, worksheets, drafts of manuscripts, related to the following works: Companeros: An Anthology of Writings about Latin America (1989), Letters from Managua: Mediations on Politics and Art (1990); four titles of poetry: Light of Burning Towers: Poems New & Selected (1990), Girl by the Water (1994), The Perfect Cold Warrior (1995), Active Trading: Selected Poems, 1970-1995 (1996); and his expanded and revised 4th edition of an anthology on the development of poetic sensibility in Canada, 20th-Century Poetry & Poetics (1996).

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Gary Geddes in several accessions. [1984-02, 1988-05, 1990-14, 1997-06]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: some restrictions on correspondence.

Finding Aid: finding aid available for first accession.

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