Dr. James Pollock, associate professor of English, has been shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the most prestigious literary award for poetry in Canada. His debut collection of poems, “Sailing to Babylon,” previously was named a finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and earned an honorable mention for the 2012 Posner Poetry Book Award.
Pollock is among seven authors — three Canadian, four international — to be shortlisted for the award, each of whom receive $10,000. The seven authors have been selected from 509 books of poetry from 40 countries, including 15 translations. A reading will be held on June 12 in Toronto, and the winner will be announced the following evening and will be presented with the grand prize of $75,000.
Inspired by the great poetry of the past, Pollock writes about topics ranging from historic Canadian figures to exploration and discovery, from a schoolboy’s fascination with his teacher to his grandmother’s Bible, and everything in-between. In the words of his poetry, the collection has the power to take you “to the place where you always meant to go.”
Time does not stop for Pollock, however, who is hard at work on new projects, which include editing the poems of Daryl Hine and a collaborative anthology of modern and contemporary Canadian poetry.
“As for my next book of poems,” says Pollock, “that’s a secret.”