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First Statement

Montreal, Quebec · 1942-1945


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Frequently remembered for its polemical essays and editorials, First Statement also attracted many notable Canadian modernist poets and critics—including Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster, P.K. Page, and A.M. Klein. Founded in Montreal during the Second World War by John Sutherland and his sister Betty, the magazine and its masthead featured an evolving cast of editors, assistants, and promoters such as Dudek, Layton, Audrey Aikman, Robert Simpson, Keith MacLellan, and Mary Margaret Miller, among others. A total of 33 issues were released between August 1942 and July 1945. In 1943, John Sutherland also established First Statement Press, which published such titles as Miriam Waddington’s Green World (1945).

Today, the magazine is well-known as a forum for literary experimentation along modernist lines. Its editors frequently espoused anti-academic views while also looking to erudite American modernist counterparts, such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, for inspiration. In this way, First Statement attempted to distinguish itself from Preview, although the two magazines also shared much in common—including a number of key contributors.

In 1945, First Statement merged with Preview to form Northern Review (1945-1956).

First Statement: At a glance

Dates: 1942-1945
Place: Montreal, QC
Issues digitized: 33/33
Editors: John Sutherland, with Betty Sutherland, Robert Simpson, Keith MacLellan, Audrey Aikman, Irving Layton, Louis Dudek

Digitized by:

McGill University

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Further reading: Bibliography
Relevant teaching materials

First Statement: Digitized Issues

Read, download, and explore every digitized issue in a variety of file formats.

(Note: in the project's next stage of development, as time and funding allow, we will be adding hand-corrected .txt-file transcriptions and TEI-XML editions of each issue.)

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Vol. 1, No. 1

[August 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 2

[September 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 3

[September 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 4

[October 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 5

[October 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 6

[November 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 7

[November 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 8

[December 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 9

[December 1942]

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Vol. 1, No. 10

[January 1943]

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Vol. 1, No. 11

[January 1943]

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Vol. 1, No. 12

[February 1943]

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Vol. 1, No. 13

[February 1943]

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Vol. 1, No. 14

[March 1943]

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Vol. 1, No. 15

March 19, 1943

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Vol. 1, No. 16

April 2, 1943

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Vol. 1, No. 17

April 16, 1943

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Vol. 1, No. 18

April 30, 1943

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Vol. 1, No. 19

May 14, 1943

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Vol. 1, No. 20

June 11, 1943

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Vol. 2, No. 1

August 1943

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Vol. 2, No. 2

September 1943

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Vol. 2, No. 3

October 1943

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Vol. 2, No. 4

February 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 5

March 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 6

April 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 7

May 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 8

August 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 9

October & November 1944

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Vol. 2, No. 10

December 1944 & January 1945

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Vol. 2, No. 11

February & March 1945

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Vol. 2, No. 12

April & May 1945

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Vol. 3, No. 1

June & July 1945

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Note: Every effort was made to contact the copyright holders for the materials digitized as part of this project (in cases where the material is still protected under Canadian law). If you live outside of Canada, please check the copyright laws of your own country before downloading any of these magazines. If you believe you are the rights holder for any material on this website for which you have not given permission, please contact us.