Manuscripts

Currently available online manuscript material from the Al Purdy Archive:

MSS 4 Box 1.

I. Literary Papers. A. Poems 1-6:


1. Approximately 116 loose sheets of poems. Most of the sheets are typescript with a few penciled corrections. The poems appear to have been written during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

MSS 4.I.A.1(Part 1)

MSS 4.I.A.1 (Part 2)

2. MSS 4.I.A.2 Fragments of holograph notepaper by Purdy, probably written in late 1950s or 1960s.

3. MSS 4.I.A.3 Mostly typewritten, some handwritten. Majority appear to have been written during the late 1950s and early 1960s. 202 pages

4. MSS 4.I.A.4 Loose sheets of unfinished and finished poems. Mostly typescript with penciled corrections. The majority of poems appear to have been written during the early 1960s. 148 pages

5a. MSS 4.I.A.5a Loose sheets of draft poems. These unfinished and finished draft poems are handwritten and typewritten with corrections. Most of them seem to have been written during the late 1950s and early 1960s.  149 pages.

5b. MSS 4.I.A.5b Loose sheets of draft poems. These unfinished and finished draft poems are handwritten and typewritten with corrections. Most of them seem to have been written during the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Loose sheets of drafts poems.

6. MSS 4.1.A.6 Typescripts and holographs of poems which were discarded for publication. Most of these poems seem to have been written during the 1950s and early 1960s. 264 pages.

 

MSS 4 Box 2.

I. Literary Papers. A. Poems 7-9:

7a. Various Editions of Poems, 1950s-1960s. The following three files marked 7a., 7b., and 7c. contain the manuscript and typescript copies of Purdy's published poems. Most undated; Evidence suggests most were written during the 1950s and 1960s. 7a - 203 pages.

7b. Various Editions of Poems, 1950s-1960s. The following three files marked 7a., 7b., and 7c. contain the manuscript and typescript copies of Purdy's published poems. Most undated; Evidence suggests most were written during the 1950s and 1960s. 7b - 246 pages.

7c. Various Editions of Poems, 1950s-1960s. The following three files marked 7a., 7b., and 7c. contain the manuscript and typescript copies of Purdy's published poems. Most undated; Evidence suggests most were written during the 1950s and 1960s. 7c - 217 pages.

8. Poems and notes on Cuba. Four sections of poems and notes in holograph written while Al Purdy was in Cuba. 136 pages.

9a. Revised Early Poems (Part 1). Revised versions of earlier poems. The files numbered 9a. and 9b. contain revised versions of earlier poems, but there a few later poems also included. The majority are in typescript.

9b. Revised Early Poems (part 2) . Revised versions of earlier poems. The files numbered 9a. and 9b. contain revised versions of earlier poems, but there a few later poems also included. The majority are in typescript.

 

MSS 4 Box 3.

I. Literary Papers. A. Poems 10-14:

10. "Lament For Robert Kennedy". 2 pages typescript and 2 pages typescript carbon.

11. "The Peaceable Kingdom". 2 pages typescript and 2 pages typescript carbon. Included is a facsimile of the symbol used by the FLQ during the October 1970 crisis.

12. The Horsemen of Agawa. 1 typescript page.

13. "Hiroshima Poems". 9 typescript pages. Dedicated to Kerrigan Almey.

14. Muskoke Elegiac. Unidentified Poems.  Typscript.  17 pages.


B. Books 1-11:

7. Song of the Restless Ones. Indexed book of poetry. April 26 1942. Typscript.  76 pages.

8. The Blur in Between. A typescript draft of a book of poems. The draft is dated 1959 and has 25 typescript pages.

9. Poems for All the Annettes. A typescript draft. 32 pages.

10. Reilly. Typed on birchbark.  Dated December 10th, 1939.

11. The Cariboo Horses. i) A Notebook typescript of Cariboo Horses.  91 Pages.

ii) A manuscript with handwritten and typewritten pages.  302 pages.

 

MSS 4 Box 4.

I. Literary Papers. B. Books 12-13d:

12. The Quest for Ouzo. A Typescript copy of the Introduction and the poems for this book.  58 pages.

 

MSS 4 Box 5.

I. Literary Papers. B. Books 13e-17:

13e. North of Summer: (Turning Point). A file of poems written for but not included in North of Summer.

13f. North of Summer: (Turning Point). A file consisting of 181 pages.

14. The Wine-maker. A manuscript of a collection of poems. 36 typescript pages.

15. Yehl the Raven and Other Myths of the Haida. A typescript of a book which was to relate the Haida myths. Never published.

16. The Iron Road. An autobiographical novel which was discarded by Purdy. The file contains a typescript copy of about 15,000 words.

17. 15, 000 Horses. An unfinished novel written during the 1960s. Most of the novel is in holograph.


I. Literary Papers. C. Plays 1-18:

1. The Apple Summer. Film or tv play about an absent father returning. Also included three pages of unrelated short story.

3. The Battlefield. Play written under pseudonym for contest. Note says "If this is the last play written by Mr. Purdy." Typescript.

4. The Bleeding Lady. A half-hour play for television which was not produced. Typescript, 38 pages.

5. The Bridge. Early film play rejected by N.F.D. Typescript carbon. (15 leaves numbered 1-14, 16).

6. The Compleat Angler. A Sort of Comedy for Radio. Based on Walton's Book - never produced. Typescript, 14 pages. 2 copies.

7. David Duplicated. Half-hour radio play based on Earle Birney's poem 'David'. Produced on C.B.C. 'Focus', January I, 1961. 19 pages.

8. The Day's End. Film or TV play. Typescript and carbon, each 18 pages. Another version entitled "The look". Typescript, 14 pages.

9. Deep Blue Sea, Baby. Hand written manuscript, partly typescript. Draft of a play with early notes on structure.

10. The Fall of Troy. Half-hour TV play produced in the Shoe String Theater in 1960. Typescript, 41 pages.

11. A Gathering of Days. A verse play about childhood. One hour for radio. Presented twice on C.B.C. Once in October, 1955 and then in 1959. Duplicated. 42 pages.

12. Gilgamesh. Play, never completed, about 1960. Typescript 4, 4, 5; ms. 8-50.

13. Ha Ha Among the Trumpets. Commissioned by the C.B.C. but not produced.

14. Just Ask for Sammy. A script for FM network.

15. The Knife. Adaptation of a novel by Theon Wright. Commissioned by the CBC for the stage series (one hour), presented in late 1969. Typescript carbon. 35 pages.

16. The Knot. Typescript. 27 pages.  Half-hour television play.

17. [The Legend of Daniel Williams]. "The story as I [Al Purdy] have written it is a complete departure from Peter Freuchen's book. It relies on the book only for the names of characters, but the characters themselves are completely different. Only in the courtroom scenes which I have not sent is there any similarity, And I had to go by Freuchan in that regard because I presume he had access to some sort of official records or newspaper accoun[t]s of the trial. But other than that this might be regarded as an original play." From 2nd page of MSS.

 

MSS 4 Box 6.

I. Literary Papers. C. Plays 19-39:

19. The Man at the Window. Typescript draft.  27 pages.  Half-hour play for television.

20. Man with a Toothache. Typscript. 24 pages.  Early TV play.

21. From the Memoirs of Gabriel Foot: Highwayman. Typescript. 7 pages. Adaptation of short story.

22. Mice in the Woodwork. Carbon 23. Half-hour television play about 1961. 2 copies.

23. No Time at All.  Typscript. 24 pages.  Adaptation of a novel. One-hour radio.

25. Pioneer days in Ontario. An unfinished play. Typescript. 19 pages.

26. Point of Transfer. Duplicated 46; carbon 21. TV play produced on Shoestring Theatre, 1962 and Toronto Theatre in the Dell, 1962.

27. The Probability of Murder. Typescript. 28. Half-hour verse-play for television. 2 copies.

28. Rape. Typescript of a half-hour radio play.

29. The Road to Bithnia. Play. Includes first draft entitled "A Time to Wait" of 10 pages, and carbon copy of 35 pages. Typescript.

30. Soap Opera. Also entitled The Bleeding Lady. Typescript. 10 pages. Half-hour TV play.

31. The Soundless Storm. Typescript. 28. "Half-hour radio satire on Montreal poets in 1957. Layton is Herman Blatant, Dudek is Burbek and so on" - L.L.

32. Spartacus. 1 hour radio play, first draft. Typescript. 19 pages.

33. The Streets of the City. A play based on poems by A.M Klein. Typescript carbon, 13 pages. "Never produced" – L.L. 2 Copies.

34. The Survivors. A play from the writers’ workshop of the CBC script department. Typescript, 23 pages.

35. Is This the Face? Typescript. 19 pages. A play for TV which was not used.

36. When the Bough Breaks. 1 hour radio play. 2 copies, typescript, 45 pages.

37. Willie Banner and Time. Typescript carbon.

38. Untitled Play. An untitled play. A typescript draft with penciled corrections. 48 pages. A second version has 31 typescript pages.

39. Unfinished Plays. A file containing a collection of several unfinished plays. Typescript and manuscript.

 

MSS 4 Box 7

I. Literary Papers. D. Short Stories 1-17:

1. Death of a Woman. Three typescript copies. 3, 5, 5. The story was not published.

2. The debt. Two Typscript copies. Both 6 pages.

3. Dormez-Vous? Short story. 3 typescript pages.

4. Herod in Toronto. A typescript copy of the short story.  It was not published. back up!

5. At Home on McGill Street. Typescript copy of short story. 5 pages.

6. Innocent X and Crazy Joe. Typescript. It was not published.

7. The Last Snowballer. Typescript copy of short story. Not offered for publication. 7 pages.

8. The Life and Death of a Village. Typescript copy of short story. 7 pages.

10. My Friend Julio. 2 typescript copies of short story. Accepted by Tamarack.

11. Old Folks at Home. Typescript. 6 pages. The story was not offered for publication.

12. Rita, I Think. Story takes place during World War II. Narrator talks about his experiences working in an army base hospital.

14. Tell Me a Story. Typescript. 12 pages. The Story was not published.

15. The Undertaker.  Typescript. 8 Pages. Accepted by Canadian Forum.

16. Unfinished Short Stories. Six short stories which have not been completed. All of the stories are handwritten. Holograph.

17. A Man Like a Hawk. Short story. 24 pages.


I. Literary Papers. E. Articles 1-9:

1. Arctic Poems and Prose. Jan 24, 1966. Typescript. 15 pages.  A typescript copy of an article about Al Purdy's trip to the Arctic which was published in The Beaver.

3. The Iron Road. Manuscript and three typescript copies of an autobiographical article about riding the rails as a transient in 1937 published in Canada Month.

4. Island in the Caribbean. Purdy describes his thoughts and experiences while vacationing in Cuba.

5. The Man Hunter. Manuscript and typescript. 6 pages. The article was published in Canada Month.

7. The New Poetry and the Old. Typescript.  An unpublished article.

8. No Other Country. Typscript. 23 Pages. An autobiographical article on Al Purdy's life and during the 1950s.


I. Literary Papers. F. Essays 1-4:

1. "Compass Points: a highly personal look at the writings of Leonard Cohen". Typescript. 14 pages. A number of extra sheets are also included.

2. "Notes on Religion and Verse Technique". Manuscript. 5 pages.

3. "Shinplasters, Mustache Cups, and Pumpmakers". Typescript. 6 pages. A biographical essay by A.W. Purdy which was accepted by the CBC.

4. "Untitled and unfinished essays".  Four manuscripts and three typescripts of untitled and unfinished essays.

 

MSS 4 Box 8.

G. Other Prose Items

1. Poems about Vancouver. Typescript. 22 pages. 2 copies. Not accepted by CBC. A letter from Robert Weaver to Al Purdy dated March 16, 1966 verifies the rejection of the script.

2. Purdy Geneaology. A five page manuscript and a typescript of an untitled sketch relating to the Purdy genealogy.

3. Notes on the early history of Canada (?) . Manuscript. 6 pages.

4. Notes for Newlove's book. Manuscript. 4 pages.

5. "Notes on Theatre". Manuscript. 3 pages.

H. Reviews by A. Purdy.

1. Biography of Dylan Thomas.

2. Bridge force, Frank Davey.

3. For the mean time, by Eugene McNamara.

4. The collected poems of Irving Layton.

5. The colour of the times! by Raymond Souster.

6. A dream of lilies, by Joan Finnigan.

7. Eskimo sculpture, by George Swinton.

8. It catches my heart in its hands, by Charles Bukowski.

9. The MacKenzie poems, by William Lyon Mackenzie.

10. Moving in alone, by John Newlove.

11. North-west fox, by Luke Fox.

12. Points on the grid, by George Bowering.

13. Selected letters of Malcolm Lowry, edited by Harvey Breit and Margerie Bonner Lowry.

14. Selected poems, by F.R. Scott.

15. Strength for the bridge, by Jessie L. Beattie.

16. Burglar tools, by Harry Howith.

17. Tales of Nanabozko, by Dorothy Reid.

18. Smoking the city: poems, by Bryan McCarthy.

19. A. Purdy reviews the writings of the "Black Mountain Group".

20. The absolute smile, by George Jonas.

21. Jawbreakers, by Milton Acorn

I. Interviews by A. Purdy

1. and 2. "Interview with Big Fanny". Typescript, and Interview with James Huston, who encouraged the Eskimos to get involved in sculpture.  10 pages in holograph.

J. Note Book.  Al Purdy's notebook contains the addresses of some of his friends and fellow writers, statistical data on various trips, the prices of various items, and a few personal memos.

II. Published Material by Al Purdy.

A. Poems

1. Poems from Newspapers. A file containing a few poems clipped from newspapers, journals, and magazines.  The poems seemed to have been published during the period 1940 to 1968.

2. Scrapbook. A scrapbook containing poems from various Canadian periodicals along with a number of letters from Lorne Pierce, B.K. Sandwell, Arthur Bourinot, and William Macnab Booth, telling Al Purdy of the acceptance of his poem "Bubo Virginianus" for second prize in the 190 A. Louisa Peacock and Macnab Awards.  These letters also refer to the publication of certain poems or an appraisal of their worth.  A number of reviews of Purdy's books and poetry are also included.  Most of this material pertains to the period during the 1940's and 1950's.

3. "Who does not understand." by Al Purdy. This poem was published in A Selection of Contemporary Religious Poetry compiled by Samuel Hazo. (page 102).