A. J. M. Smith

A. J. M. Smith bigraphy, stories - Canadian writer

A. J. M. Smith : biography

November 8, 1902 – November 21, 1980

Arthur James Marshall Smith (November 8, 1902 – November 21, 1980) was a Canadian poet and anthologist. He "was a prominent member of a group of Montreal poets" – the Montreal Group, which included Leon Edel, Leo Kennedy, A.M. Klein, and F.R. Scott — "who distinguished themselves by their modernism in a culture still rigidly rooted in Victorianism."Ruth Whidden-Yates, ; Master of Arts thesis, Simon Fraser University; 1976.



  • News of the Phoenix and Other Poems. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1943. New York: Coward-McCann, 1943.
  • A Sort of Ecstasy. Michigan State College Press, 1954. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1954.
  • Collected Poems. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1962 .
  • Poems New and Collected. Toronto: Oxford U P, 1967.
  • The Classic Shade: Selected Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1978. ISBN 0-7710-8213-4
  • Complete Poems of A.J.M. Smith. Brian Trehearne ed. London, ON: Canadian Poetry P, 2006. ISBN 978-0-921243-47-2


  • "Our Poets." A Sketch of Poetry in the Nineteenth Century. Toronto, 1942.
  • The Poetic Process. East Lansing, MI: College of Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University, 1964.
  • Essays for College Writing. New York: St. Martin’s P, 1965.
  • Towards a View of Canadian Letters. Vancouver: U of British Columbia P, 1973.
  • On Poetry and Poets. Selected Essays of A.J.M. Smith. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1977.
  • Selected Writings. Hamilton: Dundurn (Voyageur classics), 2006.


  • New Provinces: Poems of Several Authors (with F.R. Scott and Leo Kennedy), Macmillan Co. of Canada, 1936. Reprinted 1976, University of Toronto Press.
  • The Book of Canadian PoetryToronto: W.J. Gage & Co., 1943. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1943.
  • Seven Centuries of Verse, English and American. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947. Reprinted 1957, 1967.
  • The Worldly Muse: An Anthology of Serious Light Verse. New York: Abelard Press, 1951.
  • The Blasted Pine: An Anthology of Satire, Invective, and Disrespectful Verse (with F.R. Scott). Toronto: Macmillan Co. of Canada, 1957.
  • Masks of Poetry: Canadian Critics on Canadian Verse. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1962., Open Library, Web, May 9, 2011.
  • Early Beginnings to Confederation. Toronto: W.J. Gage, 1965.
  • The Book of Canadian Prose. Toronto: W.J. Gage, 1965.
  • 100 Poems. New York: Scribner, 1965. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries, 1970.
  • Modern Canadian Verse in English and French. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1967.
  • The Colonial Century: English-Canadian Writing Before Confederation. Toronto: Gage, 1973.
  • The Canadian Century: English-Canadian Writing Since Confederation. Toronto: Gage, 1973.

Life and Writing

Smith was born in Montreal, but lived in England from 1918 to 1920, where he "studied for the Cambridge Local Examinations, ‘and failed everything except English and history’ (he later wrote)." In England he became aware of contemporary poetry: "he frequented Harold Monroe’s bookshop, then the citadel of Georgian poetry, and read much in the recent war poets and the Imagists."Leon Edel, "", Encyclopedia of Literature, JRank.org. Web, Mar. 17, 2011.

Montreal Group

Returning to Montreal, Smith entered McGill University in 1921. While an undergraduate there in 1924 he wrote for and co-edited the McGill Daily Literary Supplement; in 1925, as a graduate student, he and F.R. Scott founded the McGill Fortnightly Review, which billed itself as a "an independent journal of literature, the arts, and student affairs edited and published by a group of undergraduates at McGill University."Dean Irvine, "," Encyclopedia of Canadian History, JRank.org. Web, Mar. 15, 2011. The Review was "the first journal to publish modernist poetry and critical opinion in Canada."