by George J. Dance

Contact Press
Status Defunct
Founded 1952
Founder Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, Raymond Souster
Country of origin Canada
Headquarters location Toronto and Montreal
Publication types Books
Nonfiction topics Poetry

Contact Press was a Canadian book publishing company of the mid-20th century. It was founded in 1952 as a publishing co-operative by Louis Dudek, Irving Layton, and Raymond Souster, as a publishing outlet for Canadian poetry, and continued in existence until 1967, publishing writers from F.R. Scott to Margaret Atwood and George Bowering[1]


The company began with Contact, a mimeographed literary magazine begun by Souster in January 1952, with Layton and Dudek as editorial advisers. In April 1952 the three self-financed the publication of the first Contact Press imprint, Cerberus, an anthology featuring the work of each of the three.[2]

The Canadian Encyclopedia calls it "the most important small press of its time ... it published all the major Canadian poets of the period, and transformed literary life and small-press activity in Canada by its openness to a variety of poetic styles and its assertiveness of the poet's role in the production of his own work."[1]

Contact published poetry by 33 authors, in 61 separate editions.[2] It also produced three important poetry anthologies: Canadian Poems 1850-1952 (1952), co-edited by Dudek and Layton, for use in schools; and Poets 56 (1956) and New Wave Canada: The New Explosion in Canadian Poetry (1966), both edited by Souster, featuring the work of new poets.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Michael Gnarowski, Contact Press," Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988), 510, Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Poetic Achievement of Contact Press." Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing, McMaster University, Web, June 3, 12012.

External linksEdit

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