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Canadian Forum

The Rebel, Canadian Forum, Canadian Bookman, Forum: Canadian Life and Letters, 1920–1970

magazine literary editor university

a monthly journal of political commentary and literature begun in 1920 by students and staff at the University of Toronto; it is the longest established periodical of its kind in Canada. It began as the successor to The Rebel, a little magazine based at the University of Toronto, with which Barker Fairley, Canadian Forum's first literary editor, and other founding members of the editorial board had been involved. Although enthusiastically concerned with conceptions of an independent national culture, the magazine remained in critical detachment from the indiscriminate endorsement of identifiably Canadian writing which its editors associated particularly with the Canadian Bookman. Poetry by Dorothy Livesay, E. J. Pratt, A. J. M. Smith, and many others was regularly featured. Writers of note who were supported early in their careers by Canadian Forum include Earle Birney, Margaret Avison, Raymond Souster, A. M. Klein, and Margaret Atwood. The magazine's continuing belief in the social functions of literature has been central to the integration of its literary and political dimensions. J. Francis White became the first fulltime editor in 1927, since when Northrop Frye, Milton Wilson, Abraham Rotstein, and John Hutcheson have been among his successors. J. L. Granatstein and Peter Stevens edited the anthology Forum: Canadian Life and Letters, 1920–1970 (1972).

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