MSS 3.2. Irving Layton Collection

Books in Irving Layton's Personal Library:

Books by Irving Layton:

Here and Now, First Statement Press, 1945

Now is the Place, First Statement Press, 1948

The Black Huntsmen, revised 2nd edition, includes selected poems from Here and Now and Now is The Place, 1951
-Hand written notes and revisions

Cerberus, hardcover, Contact Press, 1952
-Hand written notations

Cerberus, paperback, Contact Press, 1952

Canadian Poems, Contact Press, 1952

Canadian Poems, Contact Press, revised second edition, 1953
-Naomi's nickname "Sissyboo" on end papers

Love the Conqueror Worm, Contact Press, 1953

In the Midst of my Fever, The Divers Press, 1954
-Errata page

 The Long Pea-Shooter, Laocoon Press, 1954
-Signed hardcover

 The Long Pea-Shooter, Laocoon Press, 1954
-Original binding with dust jacket 

The Long Pea-Shooter, Laocoon Press, 1954
- Signed paperback with dust jacket
- Hand written notations 

The Blue Propeller, Contact Press, 1955
-"For Aviva" 

The Cold Green Element, Contact Press, 1955

Origin XV11, London, England, 1955
-Contains short story, "Mrs. Polinov" 

The Bull Calf, Contact Press, 1956
-"For my dearest son Maxie" 

The Bull Calf, Contact Press, 1956

The Improved Binoculars, Jonathan Williams, Highlands, 1956
-Signed paperback with dust jacket, first edition of 500 copies

The Improved Binoculars, Jonathan Williams, Highlands, 1956
-"For Sam Tata" (photographer)

Music on a Kazoo, Contact Press, 1956
-"For My Son, Maxie"

 A Laughter in the Mind, Jonathan Williams, Highlands, N. C., 1958
-1st edition
-"For my Son Max"
-Review glued to end paper 

A Laughter in the Mind, Editions d'Orphee, 1959,
- Signed 2nd  edition with 20 additional poems 

A Laughter in the Mind, Editions d'Orphee, 1959
-2nd edition with 20 additional poems
-"For my Son Maxie" 

A Laughter in the Mind, Editions d'Orphee, 1959
-2nd edition with 20 additional poems
-"For Louis Dudek, Ph.D."
-End papers contain letter to Louis Dudek, a list of 'for' and 'against' reviews of a Red Carpet for the Sun with Dudek the only entry under 'against' 

A Red Carpet for the Sun, paperback, McClelland and Stewart, 1959
-Dedicated to Irving Layton and signed by his students (Herzliyah High School, June 5, 1960) 

A Red Carpet for the Sun, hardcover, McClelland and Stewart, 1960
-"For Max" 

The Swinging Flesh, McClelland and Stewart, 1961
-"To Aviva"
- Poem, photos, part of dust jacket glued to end paper 

Balls for a One Armed Juggler, McClelland and Stewart, 1963
-"For Max" 

The Laughing Rooster, McClelland and Stewart, 1964

Periods of the Moon, McClelland and Stewart, 1967

The Shattered Plinths, hardcover, McClelland and Stewart, 1968

The Shattered Plinths, paperback, McClelland and Stewart, 1968
-"For my Dear Son" 

The Whole Bloody Bird, McClelland and Stewart, 1969
-"For my Son Max" 

The Collected Poems of Irving Layton, McClelland and Stewart, 1971
-Hand written notations 

The Collected Poems of Irving Layton, McClelland and Stewart, 1971
-"For Max"
-Errata page, dust jacket 

Nail Polish, McClelland and Stewart, 1971
-"For Max" 

Lovers and Lesser Men, McClelland and Stewart, 1973
-"For Max" 

Selected Poems, Charisma Books London, 1974

Selected Poems, Charisma Books London, 1974
-Hand written notations 

Seventy-Five Greek Poems, Hermias, Athens, Greece, 1974

The Pole Vaulter, McClelland and Stewart, 1974
--Hand written notation: "Personal copy" 

The Pole Vaulter, McClelland and Stewart, 1974

Five Canadian Poets in Greece, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sciences, Athens, 1974

The Unwavering Eye, McClelland and Stewart, 1975

The Darkening Fire, McClelland and Stewart, 1975
-"For Max" 

For My Brother Jesus, McClelland and Stewart, 1976
-Signed by Harriet (Bernstein) 

For My Brother Jesus, McClelland and Stewart, 1976

The Covenant, McClelland and Stewart, 1977
-Hand-written notation: "Personal copy" 

Taking Sides, Mosaic Press, 1977

The Poems of Irving Layton, McClelland and Stewart, 1977
-Selected by Eli Mandel 

The Tightrope Dancer, McClelland and Stewart, 1978
-End papers contain draft of poem 

Irving Layton, Selected Poems, Translated into Italian, Edizioni Trentadue, Milan, 1978

Irving Layton, Selected Poems Translated into Italian, Edizioni Trentadue, Milan, 1978
-"For Max and Stephanie"
-(Dedication commemorates wedding to Harriet Bernstein, Nov. 23rd, 1978) 

The Love Poems of Irving Layton, Canadian Fine Editions, 1978
-Illustrated  (reproductions of lithographs by Graham Coughtry)
#200 of limited edition of 200 copies

The Love Poems of Irving Layton, Canadian Fine Editions, 1978
-#24 and #29 of edition limited to 30 copies
-(hand written prefatory poem signed by author, lithographs signed and numbered by -Graham Coughtry) 

Droppings From Heaven, McClelland and Stewart, 1979

Droppings From Heaven, paperback, McClelland and Stewart, 1979

Droppings From Heaven, hardcover, McClelland and Stewart, 1979
-"For Max and Stephanie"

There Were No Signs, Madison Gallery, Toronto, 1979

For my Neighbours in Hell, McClelland and Stewart, 1980
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

For my Neighbours in Hell, McClelland and Stewart, 1980
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

An Unlikely Affair, The Irving Layton - Dorothy Rath Correspondence, Mosaic Press, 1980
-"For Stephanie and Max"
-(Insert:  "The Slender Thread" poems by Dorothy Rath, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1973
Dedicated to Irving Layton, Signed "Dorothy" 

Europe and Other Bad News, McClelland and Stewart, 1981
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

in un'eta di ghiaccio, lerici, rome, 1981
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

A Wild Peculiar Joy, McClelland and Stewart, 1982
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

Shadows on the Ground, Mosaic Press, 1982
-#156 of edition limited to 200 copies
-"For Stephanie and Max"

The Gucci Bag, Mosaic Press, 1983
-#6 of 429 limited edition copies (1st 100 copies specially bound)
-"Max and Stephanie" 

The Gucci Bag, McClelland and Stewart,1983
-"For Max and Stephanie" 

Dance With Desire, McClelland and Stewart, 1986
-"For Stephanie and Max" 

Fortunate Exile, McClelland and Stewart, 1987

Final Reckoning, Mosaic Press, 1987
-"For Stephanie and Max" 

A Wild Peculiar Joy, Expanded Edition, McClelland and Stewart, 1989
-"To Max" 

Wild Gooseberries, Macmillan of Canada, 1989
-"For Max and Sharon"


  • Seven York University poetry workshop booklets with forewords by Irving Layton
  • Articles, books, and an MA thesis about Irving Layton

Selected Poems, McClelland & Stewart, 1969 (paperback)

Engagements, McClelland & Stewart, 1972
-Signed "Personal Copy" (Check marks and X's beside entries on contents page) 

Engagements, McClelland & Stewart, 1972                                   
-Signed "For Max, to indicate possible lines(?) NOT to follow. With much love, Dad Oct. 22, 1972 Montreal, Que." 

Il Freddo Verde Elemento, (trans. Amleto Lorenzini), Einaudi, 1974
-Signed (Pasted sheet on frontis page covers Irving Layton's original inscription)

The Love Poems, Mosaic Press, 2002


Canadian Books in the Layton Library:

Acorn, Milton, I've Tasted My Blood, Ryerson Press, 1969

Acorn, Milton, More Poems For People, N.C. Press, 1972

Anderson, Patrick, The Colour as Naked, McClelland and Stewart, 1953
-Signed, "Irving Layton."

Anderson, Patrick, Selected Poems, McClelland and Stewart, 1977
-Signed, "Irving Layton."

Atwood, Margaret, The Animals in that Country, Oxford, 1968

Atwood, Margaret, Procedures For Underground, Oxford, 1970 

Birney, Earle, Down the Long Table, McClelland and Stewart, 1955
-"For Irving who deserves a costlier gift (arrow to the $1.00 price tag) and doesn't need the motto (arrow down to, 'Better Buy Books') and already knows what it means to have lived this novel. In (consequently) [illegible] gesture of comradeship, respect, affection (I hope) very temporary farewell." Signed, "Earle - at Scott Simon's, Jan 25/67." 

Birney, Earle, Trial of a City, Ryerson Press, 1956
-"For Irving, belatedly but with all the more desire to say my respect for his dedication, my happiness in his comradeship, my delight in his poetry, my love for the man. Earle Birney."

Birney, Earle, Ice Cod Bell or Stone, McClelland and Stewart, 1962

Birney, Earle, Near False Creek Mouth, McClelland and Stewart, 1964
-"For Irving, fellow straight-man on a wonderful cosmic tour with love as ever, Earle."
-Signed, "Earle Birney." 

Birney, Earle, Rag & Bone Shop, McClelland and Stewart, 1971

Birney, Earle, The Bear on the Delhi Road, Chatto & Windus 1973
-"For Irving & Aviva, this limey exotic in lieu alas of something new, Earle Birney." 

Birney, Earle, The Collected Poems, McClelland and Stewart, 1975
-(Volumes 1 & 2, box set) 

Birney, Earle, Ghost in the Wheels, McClelland and Stewart, 1977

Cogswell, Fred, The Stunted Strong, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1954
- (First in series), Signed, "Fred Cogswell." 

Cogswell, Fred, The Haloed Tree, Ryerson Press, 1956
-"To Irving Layton, with admiration, Fred Cogswell." 

Cogswell, Fred, Descent From Eden, Ryerson Press, 1959|
-(Contains card, "With the compliments of the author"). 

Cogswell, Fred, Lost Dimension, Outposts Publications, 1960 

Cohen, Leonard, Flowers for Hitler, McClelland & Stewart, 1964 (paperback)

Cohen, Leonard, Parasites of Heaven, McClelland & Stewart, 1966 (paperback)

Cohen, Leonard, Selected Poems, McClelland & Stewart, 1968
-Signed "Irving Layton, Dec.5, 1968" (Notations and comments on Cohen's poems by Irving Layton throughout) 

Cohen, Leonard, The Energy of Slaves, McClelland & Stewart, 1972 (paperback)
(End papers contain poem dedicated to "L.C." by Max Layton) 

Cohen, Leonard, Death of a Lady's Man, McClelland & Stewart, 1978 

Dudek, Louis, The Transparent Sea, Contact Press, 1956
-"For Irving, Louis Dudek." 

Everson, R.G., A Lattice From Momos, Contact Press, 1958
-"For Irving, Mother and father of this book, Ron." 

Glassco, John, The Deficit Made Flesh, McClelland and Stewart, 1958
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Glasco, John, Selected Poems, Oxford, 1971

Gustafson, Ralph, Rivers Among Rocks, McClelland and Stewart, 1960
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Gustafson, Ralph, Sift in an Hourglass, McClelland and Stewart, 1966

Gustafson, Ralph, Ixion's Wheel, McClelland and Stewart, 1969
-"For Irving, Here with a new opus but an old love for you. Ralph Gustafson." 

Gustafson, Ralph, Selected Poems, McClelland and Stewart, 1972
-"For Irving Layton, on one more occasion, being with him - never enough - with admiration and love, Ralph Gustafson." 

Gustafson, Ralph, Corners in the Glass, McClelland and Stewart, 1977

Hine, Daryl, Five Poems, (self published?), 1954

Klein, A.M., A.J.M. Smith, et al., New Provinces, Poems of Several Authors, Macmillan, 1936
-"To Lieut. Irving Layton, A.J.M. Smith, A.M. Klein." 

Klein, A.M., The Hitleriad, New Directions, New York, 1944

Klein, A.M., The Second Scroll, McClelland and Stewart, 1961
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Leacock, Stephen, Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich, John Lane Company, 1914

Leacock, Stephen, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, McClelland and Stewart, 1947

Livesay, Dorothy, The Selected Poems, Ryerson, 1957.
-Signed by Desmond Pacey and Irving Layton 

Livesay, Dorothy, Plainsongs, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1971
-"For Irving, (in case he misses me), Dorothy." 

Livesay, Dorothy, Collected Poems, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1972

MacLennan, Hugh, Two Solitudes, Duell, Sloan & Pearce, New York, 1945

Macpherson, Jay, O Earth Return, (self published?), 1954.

Macpherson, Jay, The Boatman, Oxford University Press, 1957
-"For Irving, from Jay." 

Mandel, Eli, Fuseli Poems, Contact Press, 1960

Mandel, Eli, Fuseli Poems, Contact Press, 1960
-"To Irving, for more debts than I can record, as always in friendship, Eli." 

Mandel, Eli, An Idiot Joy, Hurtig, 1967
-"To an arrogant poet and friend, Eli." 

Mandel, Eli and Irving Layton, Nietzsche and Poetry, Transcript of discussion, C.B.C.

McRobbie, Kenneth, Eye Without a Face, Gallery Editions, 1960
-Original etching by Graham Coughtry,
-"To Irving Layton, a start to the front runner, Kenneth McRobbie."

Moscovitch, Henry, The Serpent Ink, Contact Press, 1956

Moscovitch, Henry, The Laughing Storm, The Promethean Publishing House, 1961.

Moscovitch, Henry,  New Poems, Mosaic Press, 1982. Foreword by Leonard Cohen

Newlove, John, Black Night Window, McClelland and Stewart, 1968.
-"For Irving Layton - from John Newlove, with new affection now that I have met him there could not have been more respect. John Newlove."

Newlove, John, The Cave, McClelland and Stewart, 1970.
-"For Irving Layton 3.2.71. With hope that he will understand more than others do. John Newlove." 

Newlove, John, The Fatman, McClelland and Stewart, 1977

Nowlan, Alden, The Things Which Are, Contact Press 1962.
-Signed, "Alden Nowlan." 

Ondaatje, Michael, Billy the Kid, Anansi, 1970.

Ondaatje, Michael, Rat Jelly, Coach House Press, 1973.

Pacey, Desmond, editor, The Selected Poems of Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, Ryerson Press, 1955.
-"For Irving Layton - In appreciation of the great pleasure his poetry has given to me and Mary - Desmond Pacey." 

Pratt, E.J., Ten Selected Poems, MacMillan, 1947.
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Pratt, E.J., Towards the Last Spike, Macmillan, 1952.
-Singed, "E.J. Pratt." 

Purdy, Al, Emu, Remember!, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1956.
-2 Copies, typos corrected by hand in both copies. In one copy, "To Irving, with fair weather envy...but enjoyable and septic, affectionately, Al Purdy." 

Purdy, Al, The Crafte So Longe To Lerne, Ryerson Press, 1959.
-Limited Edition., 250 copies. 

Purdy, Al, The Blur in Between, Emblem Books, 1962.
-"Irving: One word you weren't the first to speak,
A sound on earth before you came,
Which spoken sings the flowers to sleep,
On paper then supplies a dream:
Aviva of the lovely name -
Best to both of you. Al."

Purdy, Al, Poems For All The Annettes, Contact Press, 1962.
"Irving - All roads still lead to Babylon - with affection, Al." 

Purdy, Al, The Cariboo Horses, McClelland and Stewart, 1965.
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Purdy, Al, North of Summer, McClelland and Stewart, 1967.
-"To Irving, In admiration homage and friendship, Al Purdy." 

Purdy, Al, Selected Poems, McClelland and Stewart, 1972.
-Signed, "Irving Layton." 

Richler, Mordecai, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Andre Deutsch, 1959

Scott, F.R., Events and Signals, Ryerson, 1954
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Scott, F.R. & A.J.M. Smith, The Blasted Pine, Macmillan Company, 1957
-End papers contain satirical poems hand-written by Irving Layton

Scott, F.R.., Signature, Klanak Press, 1964 

Scott, F.R.., Trouvailles, Delta, 1967
-"For Irving Layton - These glimpses of ourselves - Frank Scott." 

Scott, F.R.., The Dance is One, McClelland and Stewart, 1973
-"For Irving Layton - One 'quid' for his more numerous 'quos', Affectionately, Frank Scott." 

Souster, Raymond, The Selected Poems, Contact Press, 1956.
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Souster, Raymond, The Place of Meeting, Gallery Editions, 1961.
-Original lithographs by Michael Snow
-"To Irving, From Ray." 

Sutherland, John, editor, First Statement, Vol. 1, No. 1 - No. 20, hardcover binding, 1942-1943.

Sutherland, John, editor, First Statement, Vol. 2-3, hardcover binding, 1943-1945. 

Sutherland, John, The Poetry of E.J. Pratt, Ryerson Press, Toronto, Aug. 10th, 1956
-(Contains the Montreal Star Obituary/article about John Sutherland by Louis Dudek dated Sept 15, 1956 and typed draft of poem, "E.J. Pratt" by John Sutherland. 

Sutherland, John, Essays, Controversies and Poems, McClelland and Stewart, 1972

Turnbull, Gael, The Knot in the Wood, dedicated to Irving Layton, Signed by author.

Waddington, Miriam, The Second Silence, Ryerson Press, 1955
-"To Irving Layton from Miriam Waddington" 

Waddington, Miriam, All Nature Into Motion, A Study of John Sutherland's Poetry, Canadian Literature #4, 1969.

Webb, Phyllis, Naked Poems, Periwinkle Press, 1965
-"To Irving from Phyllis Webb" 

[Also Collections of Canadian Poetry, some signed (e.g., by A.J.M. Smith and Desmond Pacey) and other books of poetry (often dedicated to Irving Layton and signed by the author), including]:

  • Callaghan,Barry - 3 titles
  • Lane, Patrick - 2 titles
  • Mayne, Seymour - 7 titles
  • Rosenblatt, Joe - 2 titles
  • Solway, David - 3 titles

Other Books in the Layton Library:

Auden, W.H., The Dance of Death, Faber & Faber, 1945
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Auden, W.H., Look, Stranger!, Faber & Faber, 1946
-Signed, "Irving Layton"

Auden, W.H., The Age of Anxiety, Faber & Faber, 1949
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Auden, W.H., Nones, Random House, 1950
-Signed, "Irving Layton"

Creeley, Robert, A Form of Woman, Jargon Books 1959

Cummings, E.E., 1x 1, Henry Holt and Company, 1944

Descartes, Discourse on Method, William Blackwood & Sons, 1907
-Signed, "I. C [?] Layton" 

Graves, Robert, Collected Poems, Cassell, 1948
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Housman, A.H., Last Poems, The Richards Press LTD., 1947

Housman, A.H., A Shropshire Lad, Somerset Books, no date
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Huxley, Aldous, Chrome Yellow, Garden City Publishing, 1922
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Huxley, Aldous, Point Counter Point, Chatto & Windus, 1947

Isherwood, Christopher, Lions and Shadows, New Directions, 1947
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Leibniz, Philosophical Writings, Every Man's Library, 1934
-Signed, "Irving Layton" Oct., 1941 (contains notes, separate hand written page) 

Lowell, Robert, Lord Weary's Castle, Harcourt, Brace, 1946
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Mill, John Stewart, Utilitarianism, Every Man's Library, 1936
-Signed, "Irving P. Layton" 

Moore, G.E., Ethics, Thornton Butterworth, 1936
-Signed, "Irving P. Layton" April 22nd  Halifax, N.S. 

Oates, Joyce Carol, The Hungry Ghosts, Black Sparrow Press, 1974
-Signed, "For Irving Layton - with admiration for your work, and appreciation for one of the finest (and warmest) poetry readings on record - Joyce Carol Oates   (this is a 'lighter' work, an attempt at comedy. You might find "Rewards of Fame" amusing!)" 

O'Flaherty, Liam, The Short Stories of Liam O'Flaherty, Jonathan Cape, 1937
-Signed, "Irving Layton" 

Paine, Thomas, Rights of Men, Watts & Co., 1937
-Signed, "Irving Layton" Macdonald College, Feb., 1938

Popper, K.R., The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1 & 2, Routledge, 1945
-Signed, "Irving Layton" (with notes in margins)

Pound, Ezra, Make it New, Faber & Faber, 1934
-Signed, "For Irving Layton who does sometimes too much even for me, Louis Dudek"

Pound, Ezra, ABC of Reading, New Directions, no date
-Signed, "Irving Layton" (with marginal notations and comments)

Rexroth, Kenneth, The Signature of All Things, New Directions, no date
-Signed, "I.L."

Ricardo, David, The Principles of Political Economy & Taxation, Every Man's Library, no date
-Signed, "Irving P. Lazarovitch" crossed out, re-signed, "Irving P. Layton"  McGill '39

Shapiro, Karl Jay, Trial of a Poet, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1947
-Signed, "Irving Layton"

Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations, Vol. 1, Every Man's Library, 1931
-Signed, "Irving Layton" Jan. 28th, 1938 
-Signed, "Faye C. Lynch" 

Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations, Vol. 2, Every Man's Library, 1931
-Signed, "Faye C. Lynch"

[27 books]