Friday, June 26, 2015

History of CanCult: Dave Godfrey 1938-2015

Quill and Quire reports the death in Victoria of Dave Godfrey, avant-garde novelist, publishing impresario, literary entrepreneur, and a key figure in the blossoming of Canadian writing and publishing in the late 1960s and 1970s.  He went on to be a software entrepreneur, a literature prof, and latterly a winemaker.
“In the decade after 1967, Dave Godfrey was a powerhouse in Canadian writing and publishing,” says Dennis Lee, who in 1967 co-founded House of Anansi Press with Godfrey. At the time, Anansi, which was instrumental in publishing early work by Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, and Matt Cohen, was located in the basement of Godfrey’s rented house on Spadina Avenue in Toronto. “The energy he brought to the mannerly literary world – for a time, it looked as though he would go on hatching a new press every couple of years – was like a force of nature,” says Lee.
Margaret Atwood has described agreeing to join the board of House of Anansi, "not knowing it was house of vice, murder, intrigue, blood all over the floor (laughter)." Lively times, long gone.
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