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The Irving Layton Collection
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Queen Elizabeth II Library

Canadian poetry; Irving Layton

Acquired in 2010 from Canadian writer and critic John Metcalf in 2010.

The Collection contains approximately 260 items, including every English Language edition of Layton's work, among them the important early editions from First Statement Press and Contact Press. There are signed states and a number of extremely rare proofs, including those for Nail Polish (1971), The Pole-Vaulter (1974), as well as blue-line proofs for Dance With Desire: Selected Love Poems (1992). There are inscribed copies associated with many different writers, including William Carlos Williams, John Newlove, Raymond Souster, Frank Scott, Louis Dudek, Miriam Waddington and, of course, many works bearing the ownership signature of John Metcalf. Many of the books are warmly inscribed by the author to family members or friends. A couple even have on-the-spot sketches of the author in his own hand. As well as first editions and early editions, there are also foreign language editions, reprints, scarce limited editions, broadsides, anthologies (trade and workshop), and books owned by Layton, some of which have been annotated or corrected by him. In addition to personalized copies, several works in the Collection contain poems hand written by Layton, either on the endpapers or on loose leaf that was subsequently laid into the book; a number of these poems have not been collected. Finally, the Collection also contains Layton's prose works, books that he edited or contributed introductions or forewords to, collected letters, books about Layton, as well as a number of periodicals, photographs and audio recordings.


260 monographs, proofs, broadsides, periodicals, photographs and audio recordings.

Bibliographic Access
The collection is not yet catalogued. A bibliography of the titles held in the collection may be viewed at,231

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public with identification. For further information visit

Interlibrary Loan: No

Reprography: Yes

Reference Assistance: Yes

Publications Describing Collection