Canadian Federation of Poets Newsletter
Keeping you informed January 11 2006

In This Issue

Irving Layton on Poets

In Memory of Irving Layton

Irving Layton on Poetry as a Vocation

CFP Events

Irving Layton on Himself



"The poet is someone who can't help mythologizing his experiences. He exaggerates, distorts, fictionalizes. In him the will-to-power takes the form of investing even the trifling and banal with symbolic significance. But the poet is also someone who makes lucky things happen, for his life is a destiny or a destination."

("Foreword," The Gucci Bag, 1983)

"I now see there is no way for the poet to avoid misunderstanding, even abuse, when he follows his prophetic vocation to lead his fellow men towards sanity and light. If he offers his hand in friendship and love, he must expect someone will try to chop it off at the shoulder.
... A poet is someone who has a strong sense of self and feels his life to be meaningful."

("Foreword," Collected Poems, 1965)


"I want to be remembered as someone who believed that a great poem was the noblest work of man and that no one ever wrote one who didn't want to get out of hell."

("Foreword," Droppings from Heaven, 1979)

I thought I would send a small notice out just to pay honour and tribute to the great Irving Layton.

Many of you will be aware that he passed away on Wednesday January 4th, 2006 in Montreal of Alzheimer's. I personally met Irving Layton while I was at College taking a poetry class, when we had a side trip to one of his events. I have a cherished signed copy of "Love Poems", and used it as inspiration that poets can make a difference, and do.

I have had a few poets express how they feel, and I can only imagine that many are affected, saddened, or celebrating the life of a great poet. In order to facilitate the expression of all of this, we have opened up a forum in the CFPChat area. Make sure you go and share your sentiments. We will keep it as a eulogy and living testimony to our appreciation of those who came before us.

Tracy Lynn Repchuk President and Founder of the Canadian Federation of Poets


Irving Layton was born on March 12th, 1912, Israel Pincu Lazarovitch, or Irving Layton, to Jewish parents in the Romanian town of Tirgul Neamt. He was honoured with the Governor General's Award, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Order of Canada recipient and has written over 40 books of poetry. He taught the likes of Leonard Cohen and Moses Znaimer, and is a cherished part of Canadian history.

There are many great sites about him and his work, here are a few that will give you a very good perspective in a short time.

  • Biography Link

  • Globe & Mail - 1912 - 2006

  • Published Works

  • CBC Story: Family, friends mourn poet Irving Layton

    Share your memories at the Ode to Irving Layton CFPChat Forum.


  • Thursday January 19th, 2006 - 7pm
    Oakville Federation

    Contact: George Arnold
    Timothy's World Coffee
    321 Lakeshore Rd. E, Oakville,

    Open mic event where poets and performers can get together and share both poetry and short stories.

  • Friday January 27th, 2006 at 7pm
    Milton Federation event
    Contact: Jenny Panda
    Milton Cafe
    Ontario Street North, Milton

    Open Mic event where poets and performers can get together and share both poetry and music.

    Check out all of our happenings or get complete details on the above events from our on-line calendar.


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    Canadian Federation of Poets