Accession A2008-044 - Margaret Avison accrual

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Margaret Avison accrual

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Accession

Reference code

CA UMASC MSS 64-A2008-044

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1990 - 2009 (Creation)
    Creator
    Avison, Margaret

Physical description area

Physical description

12.7cm of textual records and 1 photograph

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1918-2007)

Biographical history

Margaret Avison was born in Galt, Ontario in 1918. She moved to Regina with her family in 1920, and then to Calgary a few years later. The Avisons moved to Toronto in 1930, where Avison attended high school. She entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1936. When she completed her B.A. in English in 1940, she was already a published poet; her poem "Gatineau" had appeared in the Canadian Poetry Magazine the previous year. Avison had a wide and varied professional career including working as a file clerk, proofreader, editor, and in the Registrar's Office and Library at the University of Toronto.

In 1951, Avison's History of Ontario, a high school textbook, was published. She was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant in 1956, enabling her to spend eight months in the United States writing poetry and attending creative writing classes at the universities of Chicago and Indiana. She then undertook freelance work editing, indexing, and ghostwriting a book entitled A Doctor's Memoir. Her first book of poetry, Winter Sun, was published in 1960 and won the Governor General's Award.

Deeply moved by the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, Avison translated eight Hungarian poems, which appeared in The Plough and Pen: Writings from Hungary 1930-1956, and brought recognition to many of the great twentieth-century Hungarian poets. The following year The Research Compendium was published. In 1963, Avison returned to the University of Toronto for graduate work. She completed her M.A. thesis and began doctoral studies in 1964, but never earned her doctorate because she did not write a thesis.

The Dumbfounding, her second book of poetry was published in 1966. It was the product of her profound religious convictions, as were all of her subsequent collections. From 1966 to 1968 she taught at Scarborough College, University of Toronto. During this time, she volunteered as a women's worker for a Presbyterian mission called Evangel Hall, then served on the staff there until 1972. Avison spent eight months as writer-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario during 1972 to 1973, after which she took a position in the CBC Radio Archives. In 1978, she returned to charitable work, working as a secretary for the Mustard Seed Mission. Her third book of poetry, sunblue, was published in 1978.

In 1986, Avison retired from the Mustard Seed Mission. She received her second Governor-General's Award in 1990 for No Time, which had been published the previous year. An anthology of her work titled Margaret Avison: Selected Poems was published in 1991. In 1994, A Kind of Perseverance was published, consisting of two lectures describing the tensions she experienced when trying to live out her Christian values in secular society, specifically within a university setting. A further book of poetry, Not Yet but Still, was published in 1997. Her book of poetry, Concrete and Wild Carrot, was published in 2002 by Brick Books and won the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize in 2003. Between 2003 and 2005, The Porcupine's Quill published Always Now: The Collected Poems, Volumes One to Three. From 2006-2009, her last three books were published, two of them posthumously: Momentary Dark (2006), Listening (2009), and I Am Here and Not Not-There, an autobiography (2009). In addition to her two Governor-General's awards, Avison's contribution to Canadian literature has been recognized through the bestowal of honorary degrees from Acadia University (1983), York University (1985), and Victoria University (1988). Avison was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1985. She died in 2007.

Custodial history

The seventh (A.08-44) was donated to the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by Joan Eichner in 2008.

Scope and content

The seventh accrual (A.08-44) consists of manuscript copies of later works, some correspondence, press articles written after Margaret Avison’s death and a photograph.

Notes area

Physical condition

Accrual is made up of textual records and photographs. No technical requirements are needed.

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script note

English

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on this accrual

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

a) Open to all; b) Quotations of excerpts allowed but no unpublished poem by, or any item of correspondence to or from, the donor may be published in full; c) All quotations are to provide the source and to convey Margaret Avison's judgement that the piece is unpublishable; d) Any publishing in full must wait until twenty years after the author's death; e) Use of the collection is on terms of use placed by this Department; f) It is the user's responsibility to abide by all Canadian copyright legislation as amended by Parliament from time to time.

Finding aids

A finding aid can be generated from the fonds-level description.

Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

This accrual was donated in 2008. It contains 12.7 cm of textual records and is mostly correspondence and manuscripts.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

August 2009

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres