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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 80-005


Arthur James Marshall Smith fonds. Additions. -- 1924-1978. -- 50 cm of textual records.

Biography / History

Arthur James Marshall Smith was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1902. He was educated at McGill University and received his B.A. in 1925 and his M.A. in 1926. In 1931 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. At McGill University Smith edited the "McGill Daily Literary Supplement" from 1924 to 1925. When is was discontinued, Smith, along with F.R. Scott, founded and edited the "The McGill Fortnightly Review" in 1925. This was the first journal to publish modernist poetry and critical opinion in Canada. Throughout his lifetime, Smith's works were published in anthologies, and he became recognized nationally as a poet, critic and anthologist. He taught English at several American colleges before accepting a position, teaching English, at Michigan State University from 1936 until his retirement in 1972. Michigan University, upon his retirement, created the A.J.M. Smith Award, given annually for a noteworthy volume by a Canadian poet. Among Smith's most distinguished awards were the Governor General's Award in 1943, for "News of the phoenix and other poems", and the Lorne Pierce Medal in 1966. (Taken from: "Poets Between the Wars." Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1969.) In 1978 A.J.M. Smith received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Trent University. Trent University received a number of books and papers from Smith and a room on the first floor of the Bata Library was dedicated to him. In 1980 A.J.M. Smith died.

Custodial History


Scope and Content

This addition to the fonds consists of correspondence, graduate and undergraduate degrees, manuscripts of poems, galley proofs, manuscript sheet music by Violet Archer and Dika Newton, manuscript drafts of Ph.D. thesis and M.A. thesis.


Title based on the creator of the fonds.

This fonds was donated from an unknown source.

Restrictions: Access to the fonds requires the permission of the University Archivist. Publication or quotation of Smith literary materials can only be made with the permission of literary executor William Toye, Oxford University Press, Canada.

Finding aids: Y

Associated material located at the National Archives of Canada (MG 30 - Glassco papers); The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto; and the Rare Book Room. McLennan Library, McGill University.

This fonds along with 81-019 , and 99-1001 is an addition to 78-007.

Finding Aid

Box 1


1: Correspondence and agreements with McClelland and Stewart Limited regarding the publishing of A Canadian Poetics, Selected Poems, The Classic Shade, Towards a View of Canadian Letters, 1974-1977

2: Correspondence, 1971, concerning A.J.M. Smith's retirement

3: A letter, 1961, and a memoir of Malcolm Lowry, 1962

4: Letters from Allan Latham, 1927-1928

5: Letters from George W. Latham. An article by Leon Edel, Portrait of a Professor: G.W. Latham, 1870-1947

6: Letters from and concerning Douglas C. Adam, 1927-1928, 1963

7: Letters from E.A. Forsey, 1926, John Browne, 1928, Ellen Hemmeon, F.H. Walter, 1925

8: Letters from H.J.C. Grierson, University of Edinburgh and miscellaneous correspondence, 1926-1928

9: Letters from A.M. Klein, 1941-1951. An article by David Kaufman, "The Poet as Nobody"...: The Life and Times of A.M. Klein

10: Letters from Leon Edel, Louis Schwartz, Leo Kennedy, 1928

11: Correspondence and agreements, A Sort of Ecstacy, News of the Phoenix, 1943, 1954, 1963

12: Miscellaneous correspondence, 1963-1969

13: Sandra Djwa. Correspondence, 1969, 1974- 1975. Her undergraduate essay, "A Broken Coriolanus": Some Aspects of the Betrayal Motif in T.S. Eliot's "Waste Land". Djwa's two articles, Charles Heavysege, Saul and Selected Poetry and The Computer and English Canadian Poetry

14: Alphabetical correspondence, D-H. Correspondents include Gladys Downes, David Godfrey, Ralph Gustafson, John Glassco, Ronald Everson, Jean Drapeau, John Gray, 1961, 1966, 1968-1972

Box 2


1: Alphabetical correspondence, I-M. Correspondents include Jack E. Morpurgo, Alastair Macdonald, Frank Ledwell, David M. Legate, Norman Levine, Hugo Macpherson, William Macpherson, 1960, 1968-1970

2: Alphabetical correspondence, N-Z. Correspondents include Sharon H. Nelson, A.F. Ouellet, Ivon Owen, Al Purdy, Stuart Rosenburg, Harvey Schachter, Peter Stevens, Ronald Sutherland, 1960, 1969-1975

3: Miscellaneous personal letters and other papers, c1927

4: Correspondence, Leeds, 1971, including letters from Jack E. Morpurgo

5: Correspondence, McGill University, 1968- 1971

6: Correspondence, 1966-1967, with South Head Press, Sydney, Australia concerning A.J.M. Smith producing a special Canada issue of Poetry Australia

7: Correspondence relating to poetry readings given in Vancouver, 1975

8: Folder, The Arts and the University, Queen's University, Kingston, June 6-10, 1967

9: Four lectures, General Lecture on Canadian Poetry before Confederation, Lecture on Stylistics, What is Literature?, A Plea for a Greater Emphasis on Intellectual Discipline in Schools, n.d.

10: Limericks, manuscript and typescript, n.d.

11: Television lectures on poetry, n.d.

12: Xerox excerpt from Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, edited by Alex Premeryfor, Princeton, 1965. Typescript, A Selection of Poems by A.J.M.S.

13: Take-home examinations by A.J.M.S.'s students, 1976-1977

14: Draft of The Refining Fire, galley proof of the introduction to The Blasted Pine, 1960, 1957

Box 3


1: Book of Canadian Prose, discard, excerpt from Winslow Papers, A.D., 1776-1826

2: Book of Canadian Prose, discard, excerpt from Susanna Moodie, Life in the Clearings versus the Bush

3: Book of Canadian Prose, discards, David Thompson, Catharine Parr Traill, T.C. Haliburton

4: Book of Canadian Prose, discards, Hugh Kenner, Northrop Frye

5: Book of Canadian Prose, discard, James Reaney

6: Book of Canadian Prose, biographical sketches

7: Draft of M.A. thesis on William Butler Yeats, n.d.

8: Draft, introductory chapter, Ph.D. thesis, Edinburgh, 1929, Studies in the Metaphysical Poets of the Anglican Church in the Seventeenth Century

9: Draft, chapter 1, Ph.D. thesis

10: Draft, chapter 2, Ph.D. thesis

11: Draft, chapter 3, Ph.D. thesis

12: Draft, chapter 4, Ph.D. thesis

13: Draft, chapter 7, Ph.D. thesis

14: Stenographer's notebook related to the compilation of an anthology, n.d.

Box 4


1: Manuscript music by Violet Archer and Dika Newton set to poetry by A.J.M.S., 1978

2: First galley proof, 1969, annotated, of John Glassco's Memoirs of Montparnasse

3: Manuscript, The Collected Poems of Anne Wilkinson, 1969

4: Presentation copy, The Best of Seven: A Prose and Poetry Anthology of young East Lansing Writers, inscribed "To Arthur J.M. Smith - whom we all respect and admire."

5: John Glassco, Montreal, a Poem, a pre- publication copy presented to A.J.M.S. by the poet, June 6, 1973

6: A group of poems by Stuart MacKinnon collected by George Whalley. A letter from Whalley to Smith, May 8, 1967

7: Aspects of Modernism in Canadian Poetry, a paper read at Loyal College, 1970

8: Ten Poems, by Dorothy M. Brown, A.J.M.S.'s sister, n.d.

9: Photograph of A.J.M.S. at Stony Brook