Early Authors and Poets in Ottawa, Canada and Area
According to Professor Kevin Gildea at Carleton University, "Can Lit" was first taught in Canada at Carleton in 1970.
What originated as the study of "Canadian Literature" has evolved to become "Canadian Literatures", reflecting
the diversity of literature which has developed during the twentieth century.
Professor Gildea is teaching English 2802A this summer. Any History Majors out there should consider taking this course.
This section of our web site,"Bytown or Bust", is Ottawa Literatures or, "Ott Lits".
Some early Writers and Poets in our Region
Charles Mair from Lanark County, good trout fishing in Mair Lake
Robert Stead also from Lanark County, then to Manitoba
June 18, 2014:
William Wilfred Campbell
Armand Garnet Ruffo (Wrote "Poem for Duncan Campbell Scott") - English 2802A
Duncan Campbell Scott, worked as federal Indian agent, negotiated Treaty No. Nine in Northern Ontario.
Wrote poem Here is the Height of Land.
D'arcy McGee was a father of Confederation, a Member of Parliament, an author and a newspaperman. He was
assassinated on Sparks Street in Ottawa on April 7, 1868. In addition to being a poet, he had also written A History of Ireland.
Ralph Connor from Glengarry County wrote The Man from Glengarry and many other books.
This novel, written in 1901, is a classic in Canadian Literature. His real name was Charles W. Gordon (1860-1937).
March 12, 2019: (post retirement) added photo of Ralph Connor.
Photo Source: A Concise History of Christianity in Canada, by Terrence Murphy and Roberto Perin, page 223.
Many of the early authors and poets in Ottawa worked in the Civil Service. It provided a salary and the work
was not over-taxing.
Nellie McClung, noted Canadian author, suffragette and feminist was born in Ottawa, the Granddaughter of pioneer Talbot Settlers,
William Mooney and Catherine Hodgins.
March 9, 2019: (post retirement)
Photo Source: A Concise History of Christianity in Canada, Terrence Murphy and Roberto Perin, page 224
Source below: Canada - 1892, Portrait of a Promised Land, McClelland and Stewart Inc. and Penguin Books Canada,
ISBN 0-670-84575-2, page 120
William Pittman Lett -- Born in 1819, William Pittman Lett was the son of a military Captain serving in
Canada as part of the British military forces stationed here at that time. Lett is well known for his
blank verse history of the times, people and places of the Bytown era. Two books about Lett are listed in
our Bibliography. His poetry is an historical chronicle of many of
the people and places in Bytown and Ottawa. For example, he mentions the Slavin brothers in an excerpt
from their web page. Literature reflects history.
The Frontier and Canadian Letters, by Wilfrid Eggleston,Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1957, no ISBN
On Canadian Poetry, by E. K. Brown, Ryerson Press, Toronto, 1943
The Bytown Mechanics' Institute, Historical Society of Ottawa, Bytown Pamphlet Series Number 39, by R. Forbes Hirsch,
Wilfred Campbell, Ottawa Poet, Historical Society of Ottawa, Bytown Pamphlet Series Number 15, by Ruth McKenzie,
The Last Days of Archibald Lampman, Canadian Poet, 1861-1899, Bytown Pamphlet Series Number 64, by Steven Artelle,
ISSN 0823-5457, ISBN 0-920960-77-4
Poets of the Confederation, Edited by Malcolm Ross, McClelland and Stewart Limited, Toronto, 1960,
(Bliss Carman, Archibald Lampman, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and Duncan Campbell Scott), no ISBN
April 14, 2014:
Usually "civilized society" as developed through arts and letters is a long time arriving in a frontier society.
Here is a pioneer teacher and poet from Eastern Ontario who was ahead of his time.
Source: Pioneer People and Places - Early Grenville, Volume 4, The Grenville County Historical Society, April 1980,
Article written by Ottie Wright Rollason, Great Granddaughter
Keywords: Frederick Wright, Poet, Leeds and Grenville, born in Dublin, Ireland, M.A. from Trinity College,
Parkinson, Oxford Township, Kemptville, South Gower, Ventnor, Spencerville, Ontario.
May 11, 2014:
Obituary for Michael Heenan, Ottawa Poet, May 10, 2014
Duncan Campbell Scott, Archibald Lampman, W.W. Campbell, Nicholas Flood Davin, William Pittman Lett, the Bourinots and
John Newlove are all buried at Poet
's Hill (Beechwood Cemetery) which was designed to encourage educational programming,
local development and cultural tourism. Moreover, the site also will serve as a final resting place for Canadians whose
lives have been shaped by a love of literature, such as the recently deceased Ottawa Poet, John Newlove.
Michael Heenan also lived in McLaren's Landing on the Ottawa River.
October 17, 2014:
R.J. Devlin, a hat and fur merchant in downtown Ottawa, wrote advertisements in the style of Stephen Leacock.
May 21, 2015:
Bryan Cook has written a new book about William Pitman LETT. It is now available for sale.
E-mail Allan Lewis
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