Patrick Anderson (poet)

Patrick John MacAllister Anderson (4 August 1915 – 17 March 1979) was an English-Canadian poet.[1] He was educated at Oxford, where he was elected President of the Union, and Columbia. He taught in Montreal at Selwyn House School from 1940 to 1946 and at McGill University between 1948 and 1950. One of his students at both schools was Charles Taylor.[1][2]

Patrick Anderson
Born4 August 1915
Died17 March 1979(1979-03-17) (aged 63)
Halstead, England

In March 1942 Anderson and Montreal Group poet F. R. Scott founded Montreal literary magazine Preview; A.M. Klein and P. K. Page also became part of the editorial group. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, "Preview's orientation was cosmopolitan; its members looked largely towards the English poets of the 1930s for inspiration."[3]

In 1943, critic John Sutherland published a review of Anderson's poetry in rival magazine First Statement which suggested homoerotic themes in his writing, and accusing Anderson of "some sexual experience of a kind not normal";[4] although Anderson would in fact come out as gay later in life, he was married at the time to Peggy Doernbach, and threatened to sue.[5] Sutherland printed a retraction in the following issue.[6] The incident was little known outside of Montreal at the time, as both magazines had small, primarily local circulations, although it would come to be more extensively analyzed in the 1990s as an important incident in the history of LGBT literature in Canada.[5]

Anderson and Doernbach were members of the Labor-Progressive Party,[7] and were active supporters of Labour-Progressive MP Fred Rose.

Preview merged with First Statement in 1945 to become Northern Review.[8]

Following his divorce from Doernbach in 1950, Anderson left Canada, teaching for two years in Malaysia before returning to England. He subsequently entered into a same-sex relationship with Alistair Sutherland, with whom he co-edited Eros: An Anthology of Male Friendship in 1961;[7] in this era, he also published memoirs and travel writing.[7] Despite this, he continued to treat his sexuality as a private matter, declining inclusion in an anthology of gay male literature in 1972.[9] He remained a resident of England for the rest of his life, although he sometimes returned to Canada in the 1970s as a guest lecturer;[1] his final volume of poetry, published in 1977, was titled Return to Canada.

Selected bibliographyEdit

  • 1943: Military Camp
  • 1945: A Tent for April
  • 1946: The White Centre
  • 1953: The Colour as Naked
  • 1955: Snake Wine: A Singapore Episode
  • 1957: Search Me
  • 1961: Eros: An Anthology of Male Friendship
  • 1964: The Smile of Apollo: A Literary Companion to Greek Travel
  • 1969: Over the Alps: Reflections on Travel and Travel Writing
  • 1976: A Visiting Distance - Poems: New, Revised, And Selected
  • 1977: Return to Canada

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Patrick Anderson's Archived 3 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ "Blue Metropolis: Poetry and philosophy intertwine for Charles Taylor".
  3. ^ George Woodcock, "Northern Review Archived 3 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine," Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988), 1515.
  4. ^ John Sutherland, "The Writing of Patrick Anderson". First Statement, 1.19 (1943): 3– 6
  5. ^ a b John Barton and Billeh Nickerson, eds. Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007. ISBN 1551522179.
  6. ^ John Sutherland, “Retraction”. First Statement, 1.20 (1943): cover.
  7. ^ a b c William H. New, Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002. p. 21 (entry "Patrick Anderson"). ISBN 0802007619.
  8. ^ William H. New, Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 729 (entry "McGill Movement"). ISBN 0802007619.
  9. ^ Brian Trehearne, The Montreal Forties: Modernist Poetry in Transition. University of Toronto Press, 1999. ISBN 9780802044525.