This Week in JPL History: Here and Now, Irving Layton

Irving Layton is shown her teaching on of the students of YIVO

It was during this week in 1995 that the original submission date was set for the Jerusalem 3000 poetry anthology, which was published in honour of Jerusalem’s tri-millenium. Run under the auspices of the Consul General of Israel in Montreal, El Al Israel Airlines, and with the National Committee of Jerusalem 3000, Irving Layton acted as the Honorary Chairman of the anthology and he and André Chouraqui read their own poems at the event. The anthology was not the first JPL project in which Layton took part. During the 1940′s and 50′s he gave numerous readings at the JPL in addition to teaching courses as a part of YIFO. The JPL-A has correspondence from Layton regarding the administration of some these courses.

After Layton’s passing in 2006, the JPL held an event honouring his memory. Layton moved to Montreal from Romania at a young age and during his high school years was mentored by the poet A.M. Klein. In addition to his career as a writer, Layton for a period also taught at Baron Byng High School. In 1959 he was awarded a Governor General’s Award and in 1976 he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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