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Daphne Marlatt fonds. - 1951-1998. - 14.74 m of textual record and other material.

Biographical Sketch

Manuscript draft page from Daphne TOUCH TO MY TONGUE

Manuscript draft page from Daphne Marlatt's Touch to My Tongue.

Daphne Marlatt (née Buckle) was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1942 to English parents who were evacuated from Malaya as a result of the Japanese occupation. She spent her early childhood in Penang, Malaysia. In 195l, her family immigrated to Vancouver. She studied English literature at the University of British Columbia (B.A., 1964) where she participated in a variety of literary activities and contributed poetry and editorial expertise to the experimental periodical tish. She completed her M.A. in Comparative Literature at Indiana University in 1968, and for her thesis she translated and wrote a critical essay on Francis Pongé. That same year Ryerson Press published her first book of poetry Frames: Of a Story, written in experimental language and form.

Marlatt's development as a writer is closely related to her other occupations and preoccupations, such as her involvement in oral-history projects in Steveston and Vancouver's east end. The CBC adapted her documentary publication Steveston Recollected: A Japanese-Canadian History (1975) as a radio drama and asked her to write the script. She was poetry editor for Capilano Review (1973-1976), co-editor for the prose magazine Periodics (1977-1980), Island magazine, and founding co-editor of Tessera, a feminist journal. Her many published titles and numerous contributions to Canadian anthologies and periodicals have given Marlatt a strong and recognizable voice in West Coast literature in particular and in Canadian literature in general. Her published works include Rings (1971), Vancouver Poems (1972), Steveston (1974), Our Lives (1975), Zocalo (1977), What Matters (1980) and Here & There (1981). Her How Hug a Stone (1983) chronicles the journey she took with her son, Kit, to England to explore her mother's roots. In this work, as in Touch to My Tongue (1984), Marlatt articulates her own consciousness in the making through the writing process. Other notable works include the partly-autobiographical Ana Historic (1988), Salvage (1991), Taken (1996) and Readings from the Labyrinth (1998), a collection of her essays. Marlatt edited Mothertalk (1997), Roy Kiyooka's biographical work about his mother's experience as an immigrant to Canada. Marlatt was instrumental in organizing the Canadian literary conference "Women and Words / Les femmes et les mots" held at the University of British Columbia in 1998.

Scope and Content

Manuscript page from Daphne Marlatt's PENANG JOURNAL

Manuscript draft page from Daphne Marlatt's Penang journal, July 23, 1976.

The Daphne Marlatt fonds includes research notes, manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished works; photographs and memorabilia; publicity material; publications; juvenilia; diaries, notebooks and correspondence. Also, there are over 50  audio tapes of readings, interviews and speeches given by Marlatt and other contemporary writers. The fonds includes correspondence with Frank Davey, Clayton Eshleman, David Alexander, Michael Ondaatje, Janice Williamson, Nicole Brossard, Penn Kemp, bp Nichol and other literary colleagues and publishers; and editorial correspondence for the periodicals Periodics (1977-1982), Island magazine, and Tessera. The manuscript material found in the fonds includes manuscripts and research material for Marlatt's published works of fiction, as well as drafts of her earlier publications; contributions to periodicals and anthologies; reviews; lectures and tributes. The fonds also contains documentation concerning festivals and conferences (West Coast Women and Words and B.C. Pen); documentation of the creation of Mothertalk and documentation of teaching activities and creative-writing workshops.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Daphne Marlatt in 1985, 1993 and 1998. [1985-08, 1993-13, 1998-05]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: researchers must have the permission of Daphne Marlatt before consulting the fonds.

Finding Aid: finding aids available for all accessions.

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