During the Second World War he was on staff at the Canadian High Commission in London and then served in the Canadian Army as an artilleryman during the Italian campaign. He joined the Canadian diplomatic service in 1946, and during his years as a diplomat served in London (as special assistant to Lester Pearson in the late 1940s) and in Washington, as well as in Ottawa. He was formally in the employ of the Department of External Affairs until 1959, though for several years during that time he was seconded by the Department of Finance to serve as Secretary for the Royal Commission on Canada's Economic Prospects (the "Gordon Commission"); his work drafting the multi-volume Report of the commission was widely praised.
LePan left the diplomatic service in 1959 to return to academic life; he taught at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and at the University of Toronto, where he was Principal of University College (1964-1970) and then University Professor and Senior Fellow at Massey College.
LePan's wartime experience with the Canadian Army in Italy inspired much of his poetry and one novel, The Deserter (1964).
In 1982 LePan published his first volume of poetry in almost 30 years (Something Still to Find), and in 1990 he created something of a sensation with Far Voyages, a volume largely composed of gay love poetry. (LePan had married, in 1948 to the former Sarah Chambers; the two remained together until 1971 and had two children, but the marriage was a difficult one, not least of all over issues relating to sexual orientation.)
LePan's 1989 book of memoirs Bright Glass of Memory recounts his involvement with several leading lights of the twentieth century, including John Maynard Keynes and T.S. Eliot.
He remains well known for his war poetry (long poems from the post-war period such as "Tuscan Villa" and "Elegy for the Romagna," as well as shorter, punchier 1980s poems such as "Below Monte Cassino" in which he recalled the events of a generation earlier); for his poems relating to the landscape of Georgian Bay in Ontario; for his love poems; and for lyric poems in which the poet's passion for the natural world is infused with the suggestion of homoerotic passion ("Coureurs de Bois," "A Country Without a Mythology").
LePan is one of only a few people to have won the Governor General's Award for both poetry (in 1953 for The Net and the Sword) and fiction (in 1964 for The Deserter, in a highly controversial win over Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel).
His work has been included in many anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Canadian Literature in English: Texts and Contexts, The Harbrace Anthology of Poetry, The Broadview Anthology of Poetry, and Modern Canadian Poets.
- The Wounded Prince, and other poems. London: Chatto & Windus, 1948.
- The Net and the Sword: Poems. Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1953.
- Something Still To Find. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1982.
- Weathering It: Complete poems, 1948-1987. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1987.
- Far Voyages: Poems. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1990.
- Macalister; or, Dying in the dark: A fiction based on what is known of his fate. Kingston, ON: Quarry Press, 1995.
- The Deserter. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1964; Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (New Canadian Library #83), 1973.
- Bright Glass of Memory: A set of four memoirs. Toronto & New York: McGraw Hill-Ryerson, 1979.
Audio / video Edit
- John Barton & Billeh Nickerson, eds. Seminal: The Anthology of Canada's Gay Male Poets. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007. ISBN 1551522179
- Eugene Benson and William Toye, eds. The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0195411676
- J.M. Kertzer. "The Wounded Eye: The Poetry of Douglas LePan," Studies in Canadian Literature 6.1, 1981.
- Peter Stoicheff. "Douglas LePan," in Jeffrey M. Heath, ed., Profiles in Canadian Literature VI. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1986, pp. 9-16.
- Note: Inquiries regarding copyright permission for Douglas LePan's work should be directed to his literary executor: Don LePan, 408 Milton Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada V9R 2L1.
- LePan, Douglas Valentine in the Canadian Encyclopedia.
- The Wounded Eye: The poetry of Douglas Le Pan, Studies in Canadian Literature.
- Something Still to Find: New poems reviewed.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).|
| This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Douglas LePan.|
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.