Manuscript Collection MS COLL 206A - Phil Hall Papers

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Phil Hall Papers


  • 1970 - 2016 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

74 boxes (12 metres)

Context area

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Biographical history

*Excerpted from Phil Hall personal biographical statement.

Phil Hall was born in 1953 and raised on farms in the Kawarthas region of Ontario. He attended the University of Windsor in the 70s, where he studied writing with Eugene McNamara, Alistair MacLeod, and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. He received an MA in English and Creative Writing.

His first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in Mexico City in 1973. Since then he has published numerous other books of poems, three chapbooks, and a cassette of labour songs. Among his titles are: Homes (1979), Old Enemy Juice (1988), The Unsaid (1992), Hearthedral – A Folk-Hermetic (1996), and recently Trouble Sleeping (2000). Five of his books have been published by Brick Books.

Trouble Sleeping (2000) was nominated for the Governor General's Award for poetry in 2001.

Hall has taught writing and literature at York University, Ryerson University, the Kootenay School of Writing, and many colleges. He has been poet-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario, the Kingston Writer's Workshop, Sage Hill Writing Experience (Sask.), The Moosejaw Festival of Words, and elsewhere. He was literary editor at This Magazine for three years in the early 90s, and currently teaches a poetry workshop at George Brown College, and Canadian Literature at Seneca College, both in Toronto, as well as writing and editing educational books for various publishers.

Over the years, he has collected two full decks of random playing cards from the streets, as well as many found photographs. He is learning to play clawhammer banjo.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Phil Hall, 2013 and 2017

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes drafts and notes for White Porcupine, My Banjo & Tiny Drawings, numerous holograph notebooks, personal and professional correspondence (1980s-20--), manuscripts by others, including Martha Hillhouse, Andrew Vaisius, Erin Mouré, Brother Lawrence Morey, Stan Dragland, Mark Goldstein, Jennifer Still, Sandra Ridley; ephemera used for writing, appearances, editorial work on several literary journals, including Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Hard Row to Hoe, This Magazine. Correspondents include a variety of poets and authors, friends and others, including Andrew Vaisius, Tom Wayman, Erin Mouré, Patrick Lane, Al Purdy, Mick Burrs [a.k.a. Stephen Michael Berzensky], Elizabeth Hay, Gary Geddes, rob mclennan, Brother Lawrence Morey, Stan Dragland, Maureen Scott Harris, Glen Downie, Alice Munro, including alphabetical correspondence. Personal material related to daughter Brett/e Greer-Hall, former partner Jane Greer, Ann Silversides [wife], Dorothy Clarke [mother], legal documents and other personal material related to Phil Hall.

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Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form:

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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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