by Barbara Black
A quiet reception was held
at the Faculty Club on the Loyola campus on March 1 to honour the great
Canadian poet Irving Layton, and to acknowledge that another installment
of his manuscripts, letters, tapes and other memorabilia has been acquired
by the university.
Mr. Laytons connection with Concordia goes back to 1950, when he
started teaching English part-time at its predecessor, Sir George Williams
University. He continued to teach until 1964, and taught for another term
at Concordia in 1978.
The poet was given an honorary degree at spring convocation in 1976, and
he served as writer-in-residence in 1989. In 1988, the English Department
inaugurated the Irving Layton Award for Creative Writing, and gives it
annually to an outstanding student.
As early as 1964, Sir George started acquiring material from Mr. Layton,
and this continued, largely under the direction of librarian Joy Bennett,
who recently left the university. Several exhibits of Layton materials
have been mounted over the years to show them to students and interested
members of the public.
Mr. Layton is now in frail health and lives in a Montreal nursing home,
but he enjoyed his outing to Concordia, and the company of some of his