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Born in January 15, 1921 / Died in October 19, 2012 / Canada / English


Born and educated in Toronto, Raymond Souster is that city's most loved poet and servant to poetry. He worked at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce from 1939 to his retirement in 1985, a career interrupted only from 1941 to 1945, when he served as ground crew in the Royal Canadian Air Force. First published as a poet in the early 1940s, Souster went on to produce over 50 volumes of his own verse and to edit or co-edit a dozen volumes of others' poetry. He founded and edited three poetry journals, Direction (1941-46), Contact (1952-54), and Combustion (1957-60). In Contact, he brought out works of major writers such as Margaret Atwood's The Circle Game, which won the 1966 Governor-General's Award for poetry. Souster was one of six poets who founded the League of Canadian Poets in 1966 and he served as its first President (1967-72). Canada gave him two of its greatest honours, the Governor General's Award for poetry (The Colour of the Times, 1966) and the Order of Canada (1995). On June 17, 1998, the Toronto Harbourfront Reading Series and his friends Al Purdy, Av Isaacs, Bruce Whiteman, Barry Callaghan, Robert Fulford, and Margaret Avison celebrated him. Fellow poets among whom he numbered his friends were Louis Dudek and Irving Layton.

The Government of Canada Order of Canada Web site, speaking for the nation, says this: "One of Canada's most important, widely-read and enduring poets, he has been a vital force for the renewal of poetry since the 1940s. His poems describe life in Toronto, ordinary people and the daily events, feelings and experiences of modern city living. A co-founder of the Canadian League of Poets, he has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to several generations of poets while promoting Canadian literature among students of all ages."


    Books of Poems
  • Souster, Raymond. When We are Young. Montreal: First Statement, 1945. LE S7257w Robarts Library
  • --. Go To Sleep World. Toronto: Ryerson, 1947. PS8537 .O87 G6 Robarts Library
  • --. City Hall Street. Toronto: Ryerson, 1951. PR6037 .O8 C5 Victoria University Library
  • --. Shake Hands with the Hangman: Poems 1940-1952. Toronto: Contact Press, 1953. cap 04364 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. A Dream That is Dying: Poems. Toronto: Contact Press, 1954. E-10 01561 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Walking Death: Poems. Toronto: Contact Press, 1954. cap 04367 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. For What Time Slays. Toronto: Contact Press, 1955. PR6037 .O8 F6 Victoria University Library
  • --. The Selected Poems. Ed. Louis Dudek. Toronto: Contact Press, 1956. PS8537 .O87 A6 1956 Robarts Library
  • --. Crêpe-hanger's Carnival: Selected Poems 1955-58. Toronto: Contact Press, 1958. PR6037 .O8 C7 Victoria University Library
  • --. Place of Meeting. Gallery Editions, 1962. PS8537 .O87 P5 Robarts Library
  • --. A Local Pride. Toronto: Contact Press, 1962. PS8537 .O87 L6 1962 Robarts Library
  • --. The Colour of the Times: Collected Poems. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1964. PS8537 .O87 C6 Robarts Library
  • --. Ten Elephants on Yonge Street. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1965. PS8537 .O87 T4 Robarts Library
  • --. As Is. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1967. PS8537 .O9 A8 Trinity College Library
  • --. Lost And Found: Uncollected Poems. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1968. PS8537 .O87 L67 Robarts Library
  • --. So Far, So Good: Poems, 1938/1968. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1969. PR6037 .O8 S6 Victoria University Library
  • --. The Years. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1971. PR 6037 .O8A6 Victoria University Library
  • --. Selected Poems Of Raymond Souster. Ed. Michael Maklem. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1972. PS8537 .O87 A6 Robarts Library
  • --. The Colour of the Times. Ten Elephants on Yonge Street. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1973. PS8537 .O87 C6 Robarts Library
  • --. Change-up: New Poems. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1974. PS8537 .O87 C48 Robarts Library
  • --. Double-header: As Is; Lost & Found. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1975. PS8537 .O87 D68 Robarts Library
  • --. Rain-Check. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1975. PS8537 .O87 R3 Robarts Library
  • --. To Hell with Poetry. Burton, Ohio, 1976. cap Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Extra Innings: New Poems. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1977. PS8537 .O87 E9 Robarts Library
  • --. Hanging In: New Poems. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1979. PS8537 .O87 H3 Robarts Library
  • --. Collected Poems of Raymond Souster. 10 vols. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1980-2004. PS8537 .O87 A17 Robarts Library
  • --. Going the Distance. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1983. PS8537 .O87 G64 1983 Robarts Library
  • --. Jubilee Of Death: The Raid On Dieppe. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1984. PS8537 .O87 J8 Robarts Library
  • --. Queen City. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1984. PS8537 .O87 Q4 Robarts Library
  • --. Flight of the Roller-Coaster: Poems for Younger Readers. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1985. PS8537 .O87 F5 Robarts Library
  • --. It Takes All Kinds. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1986. PS8537 .O87 I8 Robarts Library
  • --. The Eyes of Love. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1987. PS8537 .O87 E94 Robarts Library
  • --. Asking for More. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1988. PS8537 .O87 A65 Robarts Library
  • --. Running Out the Clock. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1991. PS8537 .O87 R8 Robarts Library
  • --. Old Bank Notes. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1993. D-10 09921 Fisher Rare Book Library
  • --. Riding The Long Black Horse. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1993. PS8537 .O87 R54 1993 Robarts Library
  • --. No Sad Songs Wanted Here. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1995. PS8537 .O87 N6 Robarts Library
  • --. Close to Home. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1996. PS8537 .O87 C56 Robarts Library
  • --. Of Time and Toronto. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 2000. PS8537 .O87 O38 Robarts Library
  • --. Take me out to the Ballgame. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 2002. PS8537 .O87 T24 Robarts Library
  • --. Twenty-three New Poems. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 2003. PS8537 .O87 T84 Robarts Library
  • -- and James Deahl. Into This Dark Earth.. Toronto: Unfinished Monument Press, 1985. PS8537 .O87 I57
  • Souster, Raymond. On Target. Village Bookstore Press, 1972. [novel] PS8537 .O87 O5
  • -- and Douglas Alcorn. From Hell to Breakfast. Toronto: Intruder Press, 1980. [prose] D 811 .A5225
  • Souster, Raymond, ed. Poets 56: Ten Younger English-Canadians. Toronto: Contact Press, 1956. PS8279 .P6 Trinity College Library
  • --, ed. New Wave Canada: The New Explosion in Canadian Poetry. Toronto: Contact Press, 1966. PS8292 .S68
  • --, ed. Vapour and blue : Souster selects Campbell: the poetry of William Wilfred Campbell. Paget Press, 1978. PS8455 .A6 V3
  • -- and Douglas Lochhead, eds. New Poems of the Seventies. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1970. PS8293 .L63
  • --, eds. Made in Canada. Ottawa: Oberon Press, 1970. Trinity College
  • -- , eds. 100 Poems of Nineteenth Century Canada. Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1974. PS 8289 .L6 Trinity College Library
  • --, eds. Powassan’s Drum: Selected Poems of Duncan Campbell Scott. 1985. PS8537 .C58 A6
  • --, eds. Windflower: Selected Poems of Bliss Carman
  • -- and Richard Woollatt, eds. Generation now. Longman Canada: 1970. PN6101 .W66
  • --, eds. Sights and Sounds. Toronto: Macmillan, 1973. PR 9258 .W68 St. Michael's College Library
  • --, eds. These Loved, these Hated Lands. Toronto: Doubleday of Canada, 1975. PN 6101 .S6 1975 Victoria University Library
  • --, eds. Poems of a Snow-eyed Country. Don Mills, On: Academic Press, 1980. PS8279 .P64 University of Mississauga Library