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THOMPSON, JOHN, 1938-1976

John Thompson fonds. - 1959-1978. - 60 cm of textual record and other material.

Biographical Sketch

Poet and professor, John Thompson was born in England in 1938 and educated at various boarding schools and the Manchester Grammar School. He received his B.A. in honours psychology from the University of Sheffield in 1958. Following two years service in the British Army intelligence corps, he studied comparative literature at Michigan State University and received his Ph.D. His thesis entailed the translation of poems by the French poet René Char. In 1966 he moved to Canada and taught English literature at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. His first collection of poetry, At the Edge of the Chopping There Are No Secrets, was published by Anansi in 1973. He wrote the 38 poems in his second - and last - collection, Stilt Jack, while in Toronto on a sabbatical rest in what turned out to be his final years. Thompson died in Sackville, New Brunswick at the age of 38. The definitive edition of Thompson's poems, published and unpublished, including his translations of French and Québecois poets, John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations, and a detailed biographical essay by the editor, Peter Sanger, were published by Goose Lane Editions (Fredericton) in 1995.

Scope and Content

Most of Thompson's manuscripts were lost in a fire that destroyed his home in 1974. The fonds includes notebooks, manuscripts and typescripts, working drafts and final drafts of poems, plus a cassette tape.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: acquired from Shirley Gibson. [1996-05]

Language: material in the fonds is in English.

Restrictions: some restrictions on access.

Finding Aid: preliminary finding aid available.

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