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R.I.P. Raymond Souster

By Harriet Staff

From CBC News:

Raymond Souster, the prolific Toronto poet who helped advance the careers of Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and some of Canada’s most famous writers, has died.

Souster died in Toronto on Friday at the age of 91.

A resident of Toronto all his life, Souster’s folksy poetry focused on the city, highlighting the daily lives of ordinary people and the experiences of city living.

Critic Robert Fulford called him “the poet-in-chief of Toronto,” praising him for “catching a moment as it flies.”

“A city comes to life only after writers have invented it, and Souster has been among Toronto’s inventors, adding a layer of poetic reality to the abstractions of asphalt, glass, and brick,” Fulford wrote in 1998.

Souster won the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1964 for his Collected Poems, The Colour of the Times. He also won the Toronto Book Award in 1980 for Hanging In and was nominated a second time for Uptown Downtown in 2006. Over the years, he published more than 50 volumes of poetry, three of fiction and also edited many poetry collections.

More here.

Posted in Poetry News on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.