Fonds F2407 - Carolyn Smart fonds

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Carolyn Smart fonds

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  • 1970-2008 (Creation)
    Smart, Carolyn

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Physical description

3 m of textual records, 28 audio cassettes, 3 videocassettes, 1 film reel

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Carolyn Smart was born in England in 1952, and immigrated to Canada with her parents six years later. Smart grew up within the diplomatic community of Rockcliffe Park but at age 11 returned to England to attend boarding school on the coast of Sussex. Coming back to Canada, Smart lived in Toronto where she attended Bishop Strachan high school. It was there that she began writing poetry. Her first poem was published when she was 17 in an anthology called Vibrations, edited by Gage publishing and intended for study in schools. Smart attended the University of Toronto, where she majored in English Literature and Far Eastern Religion. Upon graduation in 1973, Smart worked as an editorial assistant for Doubleday Canada and then at Macmillan's as a poetry editor and publicist. Moving to Winnipeg for two years, she began work with the provincial government, editing the Manitoba Budget Address and organising interprovincial conferences for the office of the Premier. Back in Toronto she continued studying poetry with Joe Rosenblatt and Pier Giorgio di Cicco, and gave her first public reading in 1977. She worked at various part-time jobs including selling clothes at the Eaton Centre and freelance copy-editing. Her first Canada Council grant enabled her to begin writing full-time in 1979 and her first collection of poetry, Swimmers in Oblivion (York Publishing), was published in 1981. Other publications followed: Power Sources (Fiddlehead, 1984), Stoning the Moon (Oberon, 1989), The Way To Come Home (Brick Books, 1993), and At the End of the Day, a memoir (Penumbra Press, 2001). In 1992, Smart was shortlisted for a National Magazine Award for her poem “The Sound of the Birds”, published in Quarry magazine. In 1993, Smart won the CBC's Literary Contest in the Personal Essay Category for a portion of her memoir At the End of The Day. Smart's poems and essays have been published in over 150 magazines in Canada, the US, Britain, India and Australia. She continues to publish poetry and teaches both on-line for Writers In Electronic Residence and as director of Creative Writing at Queen's University. She has edited the anthology Lake Effect: An Anthology of Work by the Creative Writing Students at Queen's University, since 2003.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of material relating to both the personal and professional life of Carolyn Smart and is comprised of the following series: Daybooks, Correspondence, Journals, Writing, Queen's University, Miscellaneous and Bronwen Wallace.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Material received from Ms. Carolyn Smart - 2008, 2021.


This material has been arranged by the archivist in accordance with what could be discerned of the creator's original order. A listing of the original material and how it was arranged is available at the repository. There were many publications within the original deposit of material, a small sample was kept. A listing of what was returned to the donor is available.

Language of material

  • English

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Location of originals

MI 160

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Restrictions on access

Journals are closed for 75 years from date of deposit. Correspondence is closed for 25 years from date of deposit.

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Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 5064.8
  • Shelf: MI 160
  • Shelf: SR1139
  • Shelf: 2291.15