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First Statement

Preview, Northern Review, First Statement's, The Western Free-Lance, When We Are Young

a Montreal magazine primarily devoted to poetry, founded in 1942 by John Sutherland in association with Robert Simpson, Keith MacLellan, and others. Sutherland is said to have been prompted to begin the journal in response to the rejection of his verse by Preview; a measure of sometimes antagonistic rivalry existed between the two in the earlier years of their comparatively short publishing histories. In 1945 the magazines merged to form Northern Review, which continued to appear until 1956, although it did not succeed in maintaining the energy and individuality of its predecessors. Whereas Preview favoured the examples of the leading British poets of the 1930s as models for advancing indigenous Canadian poetry, First Statement's contributors were more characteristically influenced by the achievements of Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and their followers. A. M. Klein's work of the early 1940s is notable for satisfying the criteria of both magazines. Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, and Raymond Souster were among the regular contributors of poetry, establishing it as the principal vehicle for the emergence of realist Modernism in Canadian verse. After its fifth issue the magazine absorbed The Western Free-Lance, thereby significantly increasing its readership. Intended as a fortnightly, it was published irregularly in mimeographed form until Sutherland acquired a printing press in 1943; it subsequently increased in size to include regular book reviews and published short stories more frequently. First Statement Press continued after the journal merged with Preview, publishing numerous valuable editions of poetry, which include Souster's When We Are Young (1946) and Miriam Waddington's Green World (1945).

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