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James Pollock is the author of Sailing to Babylon, which was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award in Poetry, runner-up for the Posner Poetry Book Award, and winner of an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association; and You Are Here: Essays on the Art of Poetry in Canada, a finalist for the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award for a collection of essays. He is also editor of The Essential Daryl Hine, which made The Partisan‘s list of the best books of 2015. He earned a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston, and is now Professor of English and Creative Writing at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he teaches poetry writing, Shakespeare, Canadian literature, and modern and contemporary American poetry. He lives with his wife and son in Madison, Wisconsin.

Sailing to Babylon

Able Muse Press
2013 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

The sentence, in James Pollock’s remarkably assured debut volume, is a unit of music and of time, a carefully modulated choreography that moves the reader through an elegantly constructed set of meditations on place and history and the education of the self…

The sentence, in James Pollock’s remarkably assured debut volume, is a unit of music and of time, a carefully modulated choreography that moves the reader through an elegantly constructed set of meditations on place and history and the education of the self — a self we come to know, in part, through the poet’s evocation of a rich company of tutelary spirits: Glenn Gould and Northrop Frye, Henry Hudson and C.P. Cavafy. Quietly confident, formally adept, assured in their music, these artful lyrics are not only an accomplishment in themselves but promise to register, as the poet says, ‘the breaking changes of a life to come’.