Raymond Knister sitting on a couch with his legs crossed looking at the camera with a newspaper in his lap. There is floral wallpaper and a lamp pointed at the couch from a side table.

Raymond Knister, ca. early 1930s.


        Turn plow, the clods

        For new thunder,

        Turn under, plow,

        Turn under.

                  -  from “Plowman’s Song”




“My Star Predominant: Essex County’s Raymond Knister” explores the life and context of an important but little-known local author – his roots, writing and the vigorous literary connections that made him a significant figure of the 1920s-1930s literary scene in Canada. Through photographs, manuscripts and letters, this exhibition evokes the triumphs and tragedy of a too-brief artistic life.

Raymond Knister, known by his contemporaries as a widely published, hard working journalist, a first rate author of highly regarded short fiction, and a modern poet, published in the company of many of the greatest of modern poets and imagists of the post first world war era including H.D., Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot. Knister was an award-winning novelist and important anthologist who edited the first major collection of modern Canadian short fiction. More than a regional luminary, more than a national treasure, Raymond Knister deserves to be remembered, honoured, and most importantly read by all who value literature.