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Irving Layton

photo by Terry Byrnes

Irving Layton (Israel Pincu Lazarovitch) was born in 1912 in Tirgu Neamt, Romania. Layton came to Montreal with his family before he was one. He attained a BSc in agriculture at Macdonald College in 1939. Following a stint in the Canadian Army, he did graduate work in political science at McGill.

A poet, short story writer, and essayist, Layton was perhaps the most well-known of the Montreal poets, a group of young poets who engaged in a battle against romanticism in poetry in the 1940’s. Layton published many poetry collections, including A Red Carpet for the Sun (1959), which won the Governor General’s Award. Layton was poet-in-residence at various Canadian universities and was professor of English at York University 1969-78. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1981. He passed away on January 4, 2006.

Books by Irving Layton

Fortunate Exile

Final Reckoning

Joy Wild Peculiar Joy, A


Romanian Canadian

March 12, 1912

Tirgul Neamt, Romania

January 04, 2006