Archives Search

Search only: Library, Archives Advanced Search, Ancestors, Images, Search All

To submit a comment, contact

Search Help

Warning: Descriptive record is in process. These materials may not yet be available for consultation.

Description found in Archives



Place of creation


0.8 m

Scope and content

The fonds documents McKay's writing between the 1960's and the early 1990's, during his teaching work in London, Ontario and New Brunswick as well as his studies in Wales and travels within Canada. The fonds contains the notes and drafts of Don McKay's poetry along with correspondence, manuscript for an unpublished book Lyric Oven and reviews. The notebooks represent most of what remains of Don McKay's poetic output for this period since the poet composes by hand and generally did not keep typescripts or proofs of his work. The fonds contains the following series: Series I. Correspondence, Series II. Poetry and Series III. Reviews.

Textual records
18: Restricted by creator/donor
LMS container
from 1 to 6
18: Restricted by creator/donor
Former archival reference no.
Other accession no.
2001-06 LMS

The finding aid for the "Don McKay fonds LMS 0241 2001-06" is available in the reference room and/or electronically by request. (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

Born in Owen Sound in 1942, Don McKay grew up in Cornwall, Ontario. He was educated at the University of Western Ontario and received a PhD from the University of Wales at Swansea (1971) for which he wrote a thesis on Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. McKay has taught at the University of Western Ontario (1971-1990) and acted as the director of Creative Writing at the University of New Brunswick (1991-1996) He has also taught at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Sage Hill Writing Experience. McKay served as editor of The Fiddlehead (1991-1996) and he has been editor and publisher (with Stan Dragland) of the poetry small press Brick Books since 1975. McKay is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry for Night Field (1991) and for Another Gravity (2000), and his work Apparatus and Birding was also nominated for the award (in 1997). Don McKay won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry (1984) for Birding, or desire and the National Magazine Award (1991) for Night Field. McKay's work has been widely anthologized.

Don McKay has lived for long periods in Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia. Currently, Don McKay makes his home in Victoria and, after 27 years of teaching, he has turned to being a full-time poet and poetry editor. McKay's interests in birds and in the natural world inspire him to write, and these images permeate his poetry.