Case 4: A Tradition of Creative Writing: Queen’s in the 1960s and 70s

The literary creativity of both faculty and students at Queen’s is, of course, too fertile to be contained by a single display case in a retrospective exhibit of this kind: they merit an exhibit all their own. For the purposes of this display, it seemed best simply to let the words of David Helwig evoke one extraordinary phase in the history of creating Canadian Literature at Queen’s:

An age of poets and a place of poets: the senior faculty at Queen’s included two, Douglas LePan who had come to the university after a career in External Affairs, and George Whalley, the department head who hired me. Malcolm Ross, who had moved to Dalhousie before I arrived, was one of the earliest serious editors and critics of Canadian writing. In the next few years the poets of my generation and the next began to turn up, Tom Marshall, Michael Ondaatje, Stuart McKinnon, Douglas Barbour, Gail Fox, Joan Finnigan. Bronwen Wallace and Carolyn Smart appeared, and began to publish a few years later on, Steven Heighton later still.

David Helwig, The Names of Things: A Memoir (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2006) 101.