As an editor, professor, and practitioner of poetry, Earle Birney was instrumental in the development of Canadian poetry and its dissemination abroad. Birney was born Friday, May 13, 1904, in Calgary, the only child of William George and Martha Stout (Robertson) Birney, who were working class and of British ancestry. The family moved to Banff, Alberta, in 1911, for a brief time to the Creston Valley in British Columbia (where Earle graduated from high school in 1920), and then back to Banff. From these beginnings, he developed a relationship with nature – particularly a passion for mountain climbing – that would have considerable influence on his poetry. The teenager Birney worked as a newsboy and a bank clerk, as well as on survey, road, and parks crews, in order to afford university…

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Citation: Ratsoy, Virginia Rose. "Earle Birney". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 September 2006 [, accessed 26 February 2024.]

416 Earle Birney 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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