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City of Toronto to dedicate stairs to poet Raymond Souster


The City Councillor for Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park will be joined by Toronto’s Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, tomorrow to dedicate the stairs leading into Willard Gardens Parkette as the Souster Steps.

Date: Saturday, September 6
Time: 11 a.m. to noon, remarks at 11 a.m.
Location: Willard Gardens Parkette, 55 Mayfield Ave.

A number of Souster’s friends, many of whom are prominent Toronto writers, will also be attending. A plaque at the bottom of the stairs informing the public of Souster’s influence as the “Dean of Toronto Poets” includes his poem “Flight of the Roller-Coaster.”

The City Councilllor and neighbourhood residents will also celebrate the recently refurbished playground in Willard Gardens Parkette.

Over the course of 60 years, Raymond Souster (1921-2012) penned more than 50 poetry collections and edited many anthologies. He co-founded Contact Press, which published Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Milton Acorn, among others, early in their careers. He helped to establish the League of Canadian Poets, serving as its first President. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995.

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