Canadian Poets Series
In 1970 Shelly was hired by Oxford University Press to photograph portraits of the leading Canadian poets and writers for the book 15 Canadian Poets. This became a standard textbook in Canadian schools for a generation and is still in print in its latest edition as 70 Canadian Poets.
In 1980 Shelly went on to photograph additional writers for Anansi Press.
Authors included (alphabetically): Milton Acorn, Margaret Attwood, Margaret Avison, Earle Birney, George Bowering, Howard Engel, Doug G Jones, Irving Layton, Pat Lane, Dennis Lee, Gwendolyn MacEwan, Eli Mandel, Judith Merril, John Newlove, Michael Ondaatje, Al Purdy, Joe Rosenblatt, Raymond Souster and Jeremy Taylor.
In 2003 a selection of 25 prints were first shown in galleries. The attendees included Margaret Attwood, George Bowering, Michael Ondaatje. That same year, they were presented at the Griffin Prize Gala, the premier literary celebration of Canadian poetry.
The collection of 500+ portraits of these Canadian poets and authors in Shelly’s collection are in the process of being digitized.