Editing Modernism in Canada


November 25, 2010

The Collected Poems of Miriam Waddington: A Critical Edition (with digital apparatus)

Many of you will know of my ongoing EMiC-sponsored project — a critical edition of Miriam Waddington’s collected poetry — so you may be interested in this informal progress report.

Thanks to the assistance of two key research assistants, doctoral student Catherine Jenkins (who is enrolled in the joint graduate program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson/York Universities) and undergraduate student Stephanie Perrin (who is pursuing a degree in Arts and Contemporary Studies at Ryerson University) my project gained momentum this past spring and summer. 

By September 2009, I had amassed photocopies of most of Waddington’s published poems, both collected and uncollected.  Out of this material, Catherine Jenkins prepared a data base of variants for each published poem.  That data base will be incorporated in the digital apparatus to accompany my published edition.

Stephanie Perrin prepared a working manuscript, based on final published versions of Waddington’s poems.  Catherine, an expert editor in her own right, has gone over that manuscript to ensure its accuracy and completeness.

I am now turning my attention to previously unpublished poems and translations held in the Miriam Waddington fonds at Library and Archives Canada.  To date, I have made one research trip to Ottawa, which has yielded a significant number of photocopies, and I am planning one more extended research trip to complete my work at LAC.  I have yet to study and analyze the previously unpublished material and hope to employ another EMiC-sponsored Research Assistant to facilitate the next stage of my work.

Currently, I envisage the print edition to include (i) a critical introduction; (ii) previously unpublished poems (arranged by date of composition, if possible to determine from extant manuscripts); (iii) previously published poems (arranged by date of final publication); and (iv) Waddington’s translations (arranged by date of composition or final publication).  Print apparatus will include (i) notes on the poems and title indices of (ii) previously unpublished poems, (iii) previously uncollected poems, (iv) translations, and (v) all poems.

In addition to a data base of variants, digital apparatus may include Waddington’s Afterword to her Collected Poems (1986); her essay “Form in Poetry”; selections from Waddington’s Apartment Seven: Essays Selected and New (1989); a piece by Waddington on the process of translation; a representative interview; and sample manuscript/typescript pages.

It’s very exciting to be undertaking this project under the aegis of EMiC, which has generously provided research assistance and collegial support.

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