Preliminary Timeline of Readings

Posted by celyn | 1 comment

I have put together a preliminary timeline of the order of each recording, as accurately as possible. Please note that the dates of many of these recordings were not available to Concordia’s Archives, and so we had to do a bit of detective work to locate them temporally. The readings are separated into Fall & Winter/Spring semesters.

Fall 1966 (1st year of series)

October 8, 1966: John Wieners I006-11-119; no introduction

October-November, 1966: Anthony Hecht I006-11-041;  “Second reading in the series” introduction mentions the Poetry Committee: Stanton Hoffman, Roy Kiyooka, Wynne Francis, Irving Layton and Howard Fink.

November 4, 1966: Robert Kelly I086-11-027; no introduction

November 18, 1966: Phyllis Webb I006-11-130; Roy Kiyooka introduction

November 18, 1966: Gwendolyn MacEwen 006-11-161; Roy Kiyooka introduction; “Second part of program,” references to Phyllis Webb’s reading.

December 2, 1966: Roy Kiyooka I086-11-030 Stanton Hoffman introduction

December 2, 1966: Richard Sommer I086-11-046; Stanton Hoffman introduction

Winter/Spring 1967

1967: George Bowering I006-11-034.1 & I006-11-034.2; no introduction—recorded directly to a tape at his home, says “Merry Christmas”—January 1967

January 13, 1967: Henry Beissel I086-11-003; Louis Dudek introduction

January 13, 1967: Mike Gnarowski I006-11-122; Louis Dudek introduction

Janaury 27, 1967: Margaret Avison I086-11-002.1& I086-11-002.2; Roy Kiyooka introduction

February 24, 1967: Robert Creeley I006-11-089.1=AC.1 & I006-11-089.1= AC2; Irving Layton introduction

March 3, 1967: Victor Coleman I006-11-159; Wynne Francis (?) introduction (note: George Bowering read during the second part of the reading, but we do not have the recording).

March 18, 1967: Irving Layton I086-11-031.1& I086-11-031.2; Howard Fink introduction

Fall 1967 (Second year of Series)

October 13, 1967: Margaret Atwood & Alden Nowlan I006-11-036; Roy Kiyooka introduction

November 3, 1967: Barbara Howes I068-11-024; Stanton Hoffman introduction

November 17, 1967: Charles Reznikoff I006-11-153; unknown introduction

December 1, 1967: Daryl Hine I006-11-158; Wynne Francis (?) introduction

Winter/Spring 1968

February 9th, 1968: John Newlove I006-11-143; Roy Kiyooka introduction

February 9th, 1968: Joe Rosenblatt I006-11-138; Roy Kiyooka introduction

February 23, 1968: Earle Birney I006-11-018.1& I006-11-018.2: George Bowering introduction

March 8, 1968: Joseph Langland I006-11-126.1& I006-11-126.2; unknown introduction

Fall 1968 (Third year of Series)

November 15, 1968: George Oppen I086-11-040; George Bowering introduction

1968: BP Nichol & Lionel Kearns I086-11-026.1 & I086-11-026.2; George Bowering introduction; “Second reading in third series”.

December 3, 1968: James Wright I086-11-025; Roy Kiyooka introduction

1968: John Logan I006-11-163.1 & I006-11-163.2; no introduction

1968: Jorge Luis Borge Lecture I006-11-040.1 & I006-11-040.2; unknown introduction (perhaps not part of poetry reading series)

Winter/Spring 1969

January 24, 1969: Muriel Rukeyser I006-11-162; unknown introduction

February 7, 1969: Eli Mandel I086-11-034; George Bowering introduction

Feburary 7, 1969: D.G. Jones I006-11-043.2; George Bowering introduction

February 22, 1969: F.R. Scott I006-11-112; no introduction

Fall 1969 (Fourth year of Series)

September-November 1969: Jerome Rothenberg I006-11-095.1 & I006-11-095.2; George Bowering introduction; “first night of the fourth year of the series”

November (?) 1969: Allen Ginsberg I006-11-033.1 & I006-11-033.2; George Bowering introduction “Third week of the fourth series of reading”

November 14, 1969: Milton Kessler I086-11-029; unknown introduction

November 21, 1969: Stan Persky I006-11-137; Gladys Hindmarch introduction

November 21, 1969: Gladys Hindmarch I086-11-020; Stan Persky, George Bowering introductions

1969: Bill Bissett I006-11-083.1 & I006-11-083.2; no introduction

1969: Robin Blaser I086-11-005.1 & I086-11-005.2; Stanton Hoffman introduction, George Bowering in audience; Perhaps also in November, as Stan Persky reads in November also, most likely came from Vancouver together. He also references Gladys Hindmarch in a poem, who reads with Persky.

Winter/Spring 1970

January 23, 1970: Diane Wakoski I006-11-049; unknown introduction

February 6, 1970: Frank Davey I006-11-048; Howard Fink introduction

February 20, 1970: Ron Lowinsohn I086-11-033; no introduction

Ferbruary 20, 1970: Robert Hogg I086-11-023; no introduction

March 2, 1970: David Ball & Tom Raworth I006-11-133; unknown introduction

March 13, 1970: Al Purdy I006-11-037.1; George Bowering “Ninth Reading”

April 3, 1970: Joel Oppenheimer I006-11-012; George Bowering (?) introduction

Spring 1970: Robert Duncan I006-11-096.1=AC.1 & I006-11-096.1=AC.2 & I006-11-096.2; George Bowering introduction

Fall 1970 (Fifth year of Series)

November 6, 1970: Daphne Marlatt I086-11-035; no introduction

November 6, 1970: David Bromige I086-11-007=AC; no introduction

December 4, 1970: Ted Berrigan I086-11-133; George Bowering introduction

1970: Robert Creeley I006-11-089.2; unknown introduction

Winter/Spring 1971

January 14, 1971: Dorothy Livesay I086-11-135; unknown introduction

January 15, 1971: David McFadden & Gerry Gilbert I006-11-019.1 & I006-11-019.2; unknown introduction

February 19, 1971: Kenneth Koch I006-11-039.1 & I006-11-039.2; George Bowering introduction

March 26, 1971: Jackson Mac Low I006-11-031.1 & I006-11-031.2 & I006-11-031.3; no introduction

Fall 1971 (Sixth year of Series)

November (11th?), 1971: Gary Snyder I006-11-106=AC.1 & I006-11-106=AC.2; Richard Sommer introduction

November 19, 1971: Charles Simic I006-11-115; unknown introduction

Winter/Spring 1972

April 7, 1972: L.E. Sissman I006-11-110; Stanton Hoffman introduction

1972: Chris Levenson I006-11-104.1 & I006-11-104.2; Howard Fink (?) introduction

1972: Andreas Schroeder and Maxine Gadd I006-11-109.1 & I006-11-109.2 & I006-11-109.3 & I006-11-109.4; unknown introduction, Richard Sommers participates in reading.

Note: other readings advertised (but no recordings found at archives) “Sir George Williams University Poetry 7, Second Reading: Mac Hammond”

Friday December 1, 1972, 9pm, Large Gallery, Mezzanine Floor, Hall Building.

Hammond Poem is quoted, short bio.

Subsequent readings: January 19th- Tom Marshall; February 16th, Dennis Lee; March 16th- Michael Benedikt


1974: George Bowering I006-11-034.1 & 1006-11-034.2; unknown introduction


Al Purdy “Of All People” (not part of series) I006-11-037.2

Al Purdy Vancouver Art Gallery (perhaps 1970) I086-11-042

Margaret Atwood between 1972-1976 (perhaps 1974) I006-11-008; Wynne Francis introduction

Michael McClure with George Montana (perhaps 1970) I006-11-060.1 & I006-11-160.2

(64 total)


Jason was interested in the “detective work” that I did to find out the dates of each recording, and I think it’s important for other researchers to understand the process of uncovering an archive like this one.

When I started working on the project, the parameters of the archive itself were very vague. Jason had come across some of the recordings that were being held by other professors in the English department (past and present), and donated them to Concordia’s archives, which was holding several of the recordings also. (Perhaps a more clear description of this process could be provided by Jason if we do write a ‘history’ or introduction to the archives). Jason had found a type-written list written by Howard Fink of a list of the readers in the series, which we used as a starting place. Then, using the recordings that Concordia’s Archives had collected, we began the process of transcription and extracting more information about the recordings and the reading as a whole.

Some of the information about dates and order of the readings was readily available in the recordings themselves. Often there was a poet or professor who would introduce the reading, and they would often announce the date or the series’ number. Though in most instances this was either cut out or not recorded. At the end of the reading, the introducer sometimes would also announce the next reading.

Another way I found out an approximate year was by clues in what was said during the reading. For example, sometimes a poet’s book was being published that year, or they revealed that they were on a tour.

I also did quite a bit of research at the Archives searching The Georgian, The Concordian and other Concordia (Sir George Williams)-related newspapers for the names of the poets and any readings that were announced. Quite a bit of information was found because the English Department made announcements of future readings. An interesting find was a series of articles in The Georgian after Gary Snyder’s reading, titled “Get Your Shit Together…” written by Avi Boxer, Bryan McCarthy and Graham Seal, explaining their (strong) reaction to the Snyder reading.

Archives also had a series of typewritten papers (presumably also by Howard Fink) that listed the poems read during several of the readings–including dates. This was by far the most helpful source of information on dates and also helped the transcription process greatly as the titles of the poems were listed. (Though it was not always accurate, in some circumstances I am not sure if the date on the page is the date it was written, or the date the reading took place).

My search for bibliographical and biographical information also included google searches, which led me to places like Stephen Morrissey’s personal blog where he recounts a few memories of attending the readings–and to his own papers in the McGill archives. I found that he had collected two typed flyers from the readings (L.E. Sissman & Al Purdy). This was an important discovery because some of the recordings refer to flyers that were handed out during the reading that contained a short biography, date, time, location as well as information about upcoming readings.

Book searches also led me to details in poets’ biographies or histories of Canadian and American poetry about time poets spent in Montreal–which would often narrow down the reading to a certain year.

Unfortunately I have not discovered every reading’s date, and because I have discovered a few written references to recordings that Concordia’s Archives or the English Department don’t have access to, the order of the readings might be slightly off (especially when they are referred to as the third reading in the series, and we don’t know the total number of readings or recordings done).

There is also the issue that when Archives collected the recordings they too weren’t sure about dates, and in a few instances the recording was not in fact what they believed it was.

I had also tried to establish dates by looking at published version of poems that were read, but quickly realized that this method was highly unreliable as changes were often made before and after a poem is published.

I am absolutely sure that as this project evolves and we reach out to other researchers, professors and Montreal poets, new information will arise that will be valuable in shaping the series.

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1 comment

  1. Jason Camlot says:

    This is terrific, Celyn. Interesting to know about the unrecorded readings. We should probably include these ‘silent’ readings in the archive, somehow. Can you write a bit about the ‘detective work’ you did to construct this chronology?

    The 1967 Bowering reading (recorded at his home in Vancouver, prior to his arrival in Montreal, was probably part of this application for the post of poet in residence at Sir George Williams. We’ll have to ask him about that.

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