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Dorothy Livesay

Dorothy Livesay

Bathhouse, English Bay

  • Author: Britt S. Baker
  • Date Posted: Jan 1, 2015
  • Category:
  • Address: Plaque is on lamppost at west side of intersection of Beach Ave. and Burnaby St.
Dorothy Livesay

Photo credit: BC BookWorld


Location: Plaque is on lamppost at west side of intersection of Beach Ave. and Burnaby St.

Few locales have evoked more poetic response than English Bay. In his poem Vancouver (1931), Bliss Carman wrote ‘Where is the trade of Carthage now? / Here is Vancouver on English Bay, / With tomorrow’s light on her brow!”

By the winter-stripped willows in the Park I walked
Gold-washed fountains in the sudden sun;

From At English Bay: December, 1937

Dorothy Livesay wrote her poem, At English Bay, December, 1937 and Earle Birney wrote Dusk on English Bay (in 1941). Livesay, a committed leftist and feminist, was a central figure in a group of writers that regularly met here at the English Bay bathhouse, beneath the present site of the Cactus Club restaurant. Livesay’s involvement with the Progressive Arts Club led to her participation in the founding of Contemporary Verse with Alan Crawley, Anne Marriott and Floris Clark McLaren in 1941. It remained the main organ for new poetry west of Ontario throughout the Forties. The annual B.C. Book Prize for poetry is named in Dorothy Livesay’s honour. The nearby Sylvia Hotel lounge has also long been popular with literati.

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Dorothy Livesay wrote her poem, At English Bay, December, 1937 and Earle Birney wrote Dusk on English Bay (in 1941). Livesay, a committed leftist and feminist, was a central figure in a group of writers that regularly met here at the English Bay bathhouse, beneath the present site of the Cactus Club restaurant. Livesay’s involvement with the Progressive Arts Club led to her participation in the founding of Contemporary Verse with Alan Crawley, Anne Marriott and Floris Clark McLaren in 1941. It remained the main organ for new poetry west of Ontario throughout the Forties. The annual B.C. Book Prize for poetry is named in Dorothy Livesay’s honour. The nearby Sylvia Hotel lounge has also long been popular with literati.

By the winter-stripped willows in the Park I walked
Gold-washed fountains in the sudden sun;

From At English Bay: December, 1937

 

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