Northern Review was a literary magazine appearing irregularly, 1945-56, edited by John SUTHERLAND. It represented the end of the era when Montréal was the leading centre of modern Canadian POETRY IN ENGLISH. It arose from the merger of the earlier rivals, Preview and First Statement. Preview was founded in March 1942 by a group including Patrick Anderson, the journal's driving spirit, and F.R. SCOTT; later P.K. PAGE and A.M. KLEIN joined them. Preview' s orientation was cosmopolitan; its members looked largely towards the English poets of the 1930s for inspiration. First Statement was founded in September 1942 by Sutherland, who was soon joined by Irving LAYTON and Louis DUDEK. Its writers attacked the "colonialism" of Preview and advocated a poetry related to local conditions and ways of speech; this meant that in practice they looked to American models, notably Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams.
First Statement Press also published poetry chapbooks, and when the rival magazines submerged their differences and united in Northern Review, the press continued, publishing books by Layton, Anderson, Anne WILKINSON and Raymond SOUSTER. The group that originally embarked on Northern Review included Scott, Klein, Layton, Anderson, Page, A.J.M. SMITH, Dorothy LIVESAY and Ralph GUSTAFSON, but in 1947 several members of the board resigned over a controversial review Sutherland published without consulting his associates. In 1948 Layton left, and the review became largely an expression of Sutherland's increasingly conservative attitude, though it still attracted good writers, including Mavis GALLANT, Brian MOORE, Marshall MCLUHAN and George WOODCOCK. It came to an end with Sutherland's death in 1956.