Pollock picked for prestigious poetry prize
Avery Wickersham (TheLorian)
Loras College’s very own James Pollock was deemed as one of two winners for the £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize is part of the Manchester Writing Competition, the United Kingdom’s biggest prize for unpublished literary work. Dr. Pollock has a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing, and teaches many courses at Loras, such as poetry and advanced poetry writing, poetry in performance, and many other courses. In addition to writing and teaching, Dr. Pollock is also a critic and editor, according to his website: www.jamespollock.org.
Dr. Pollock has been writing and revising his five submitted poems, in addition to about 15 to 20 others, “over a three month period last summer. They are part of a series of poems about tools and machines that I’ve been writing for two years, and which is scheduled for publication as a book next year by Véhicule Press in Montreal, Canada.” He already has one book of poetry, a book of essays, and a selection of poems by Daryl Hine published and available on his website.
When asked about the most challenging thing about submitting to this award, Dr. Pollock replied:
“There was nothing particularly challenging about submitting to this competition per se, but this submission was part of a massive submission campaign I’ve been conducting over the last year and a half with the aforementioned poems. The most challenging thing about submitting is the sheer amount of time and work it takes to make hundreds of submissions to journals and competitions, to keep track of everything, and to withdraw poems from submission from all the pending journals when they get accepted somewhere. Fortunately, nearly all submitting is done electronically nowadays, which makes everything much easier than it used to be when it was largely done through the mail.”
As far as the most rewarding thing about submitting to this publication, Dr. Pollock mentioned that this award can expand his readership generally, but also in the United Kingdom, where this award was held.
Dr. Pollock had many influential poets that inspired some of his work. He commented:
“I submitted a group of five short poems about tools: lighter, scale, screw, sewing needle, microphone. In my mind they’re part of a modern tradition of thing-poems by poets like Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore, Gertrude Stein, D. H. Lawrence, Francis Ponge, and Eric Ormsby, but with my own innovations; for one thing, most of these poets write about plants and animals, but my poems are about tools and machines. I think of them as combining Romantic animism—the transforming magic of personification—with neoclassical wit: irony and punning and that sort of thing.”
Congratulate Dr. Pollock on his award, and keep his classes in mind as you sign up for classes later in the month!