Hurtig was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1926; he and his sister, Betty, lived with their grandparents at Lockport, Nova Scotia until 1930, when their father remarried and they rejoined him in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Sutherland attended Queen's University, Kingston, 1939-1940, but had to drop out when he was also diagnosed with tuberculosis. After recovering, he studied English literature at McGill University in 1942.
Although Sutherland published numerous poems of his own, he was perhaps better known as the founder and editor of two important Canadian literary magazines, First Statement and Northern Review. Sutherland founded First Statement in Montreal in 1942, after some of his poems were rejected by modernist poetry magazine Preview.
He married poetry editor Audrey Aikman on September 27, 1943.
First Statement published until 1945; it then merged with Preview to form Northern Review, the first issue of which appeared in 1946. The Preview half of the editorial board resigned in 1947, after Sutherland gave a bad review to the Poems of Robert Finch. However, Sutherland, Aikman, and his sister Betty continued to publish Northern Review for the next 10 years, until his death.
Sutherland also published one of the first critical studies of the poetry of E.J. Pratt, as well as the anthology Other Canadians: An anthology of new poetry in Canada, 1940-1946, a collection of Canadian modernist poetry.
Sutherland was also instrumental in exposing the poetry of Irving Layton to a wider audience, thanks to the Sutherland-owned First Statement Press, the small press that issued Layton's first book, Here and Now.
Shortly before his death, Sutherland converted to Catholicism, which informed his book on Pratt. He died of cancer in Toronto.
- The Poetry of E.J. Pratt: A new interpretation. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1956.
- Essays, Controversies, and Poems (edited by Miriam Waddington). Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1972.
- Other Canadians: Anthology of the new poetry in Canada, 1940-1946. Montreal: First Statement Press, 1947.
- Letters (edited by Bruce Whiteman). Toronto: ECW Press, 1992.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Peter Stevens, John Sutherland, Canadian Encyclopedia. Edmonton, AB: Hurtig, 1988, 2100. Print.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 John Sutherland, New Brunswick Literary Encylopedia, St. Thomas University. Web, Aug. 18, 2016.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 "John Sutherland," Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada (edited by W.H. New). Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002: 1079-80. Print.
- ↑ "First Statement," Wikipedia. Web, Mar. 25, 2001
- ↑ Search results = au:John Sutherland, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Aug. 18, 2016.
- John Sutherland in the Canadian Encyclopedia
- John Sutherland at the New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia
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