Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alphabet magazine got its start 50 years ago

[This post has been updated] James Reaney, who is a journalist for the London Free Press, has written a blog posting  marking the 50th anniversary of the semi-annual Alphabet magazine, subtitled "The iconography of the imagination". Created and edited by his father, the noted poet, English professor and playwright James Reaney, for an important decade starting in September 1960 the little literary magazine was iconic in the emergence of what came to be known as CanLit. 
Alphabet was one of the places where Margaret Atwood was first published and many now-well-known poets and writers contributed. That first issue had a cover [Update: shown here] and format by Allan Fleming the noted designer (famous for the unmistakeable CN logo). It carried the modest colophon "Edited and handset by James Reaney in 12 pt. Subscriptions can be sent to the editor at 17 Craig Street, London, Ont." 
" My mom [poet Colleen Thibaudeau] was saying just the other day that’s she not sure dad ever paid anyone -- starting with himself -- for any of what went in Alphabet during its 10-year or so run of excellence. Perhaps lamentable, but its amateur status was part of the pre-grant world of Canadian arts, I would think."
 [Update: more about Alphabet can be read at   Thanks Susan Reaney.]



Blogger SusanR said...

Thank you, Dave, for mentioning my late father's magazine in your blog. If you want to see a picture of the cover of the first issue, you can find one here:

For more about Allan Fleming, go here:

Truly he had a way with type!

3:09 pm  

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