Image by Scott Webb

James Pollock

Poet · Critic · Editor


Coming in September 2022

"These elegant but intimate poems echo the very best of Tony Harrison and James Merrill—works which, beneath the sparkle of their cheeky humour, exhale with vulnerability and generosity and edge towards the oracular.”—Alexandra Oliver

Durable Goods is a book of sharply imagined poems about everyday technology. James Pollock calls to surprising life everything from microwaves to kettles, sprinklers to umbrellas, with a precision both unerring and effortless. By conjuring the essential spirit of each object, the poet reveals the tools and appliances that surround us as both sympathetic reflections of ourselves—our fear, love, rage, hope and grief—and strange beings with inner lives of their own. “It knows how much pressure you’ve been under,” Pollock writes, of the barometer, “that you could use a change of atmosphere.” Read together, these poems immerse us in an imagined world with the power to make us see our own in a new way. Suffused with dazzling wordplay, razor wit, and rippling sonic effects, the poems richly reward being read aloud. For Pollock, the most durable good is language itself.

Véhicule Press/Signal Editions

Trade paperback
75 pp 7.5" x 5"
ISBN13: 9781550656107

Also by James Pollock

You Are Here cover.jpg
Final Cover.jpg
The Essential Daryl Hine

I can't remember the last time I was so moved by a single collection. Sailing to Babylon reminded me why I fell in love with poetry in the first place.

Inderjit Deogun,

[You Are Here is] an erudite accounting of Canadian poetic identity in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries. [Pollock] substantiates his strong claims with argumentation so textured and intelligent that one feels dared to disagree.

Stewart Cole, THE URGE

In Pollock, Daryl Hine has found his ideal editor. Reading [The Essential Daryl Hine], it's possible to tune into Hine at the wavelengths on which he was broadcasting. The experience, for me, is tremendous, exquisite, and heartbreaking.

Derek Webster, THE PARTISAN

James Pollock 3.jpg

James Pollock is the author of Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press, 2012), a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General's Award in Poetry, 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 (Porcupine's Quill, 2012), 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 (Porcupine's Quill), which made The Partisan's list of the best books of 2015. A new book of his poems, Durable Goods, is forthcoming from Véhicule Press/Signal Editions in 2022. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, AGNI, The Walrus, and

many other journals. They have won the Manchester Poetry Prize, the Magma Editors' Prize, and the Guy Owen Prize from Southern Poetry Review, and have been reprinted in anthologies in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., including The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry. His essays and reviews have appeared in Contemporary Poetry Review, Canadian Notes & Queries, Literary Review of Canada, and elsewhere. He graduated from York University in Toronto, earned a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and is now Professor of English at Loras College. He lives with his wife and son in Madison, Wisconsin.



The Latest

My poem "Mousetrap" has been awarded the $1,000 Guy Owen Prize from Southern Poetry Review for 2021. It was published in Volume 59, Issue 1 of that journal. To read the poem online, click here.

My poems "Lighter,""Scale," "Screw," "Sewing Needle," and "Microphone" have been awarded the £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize for 2020, the U.K.'s largest poetry prize for unpublished work. The poems have since been published in Met Magazine, in print and online, accompanied by illustrations and an article about the Prize.
To see a virtual reading of all the shortlisted pieces and comments by the judges, click here. To see just my own reading of "Scale" and "Screw,"  click on Videos in the main menu at the top of this page.

What I'm Writing

I'm writing a long poem in terza rima, called Oxford in Snow, set at the University of Oxford, that involves angels, architecture, muses, demons, ancient books, and some of the poets and writers who studied, taught or lived at Oxford or otherwise visited there, including among others Chaucer, Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley, Yeats, Eliot, Auden, Larkin and Hill. Not to mention Northrop Frye and Robertson Davies.

Forthcoming Publications
My poem "Dryer" is forthcoming in Plume.

"Kettle" is forthcoming in The Walrus.

Recent Publications

My poem "Framing Hammer" was published in The Fiddlehead, Issue 291 (Spring 2022) in April, 2022.

"Flashlight" was published  in Geist
119 in February, 2022.

"Mousetrap" was published in Volume 59, Issue 1, of Southern Poetry Review in August, 2021.

"Umbrella" and "Sprinkler" were published in issue 118 of Geist in the summer of 2021. You can read "Umbrella" online here. And "Sprinkler" online here.

"Shower" and "Toilet" were published in Event
magazine, in issue 50/1 (Spring/Summer 2021).

"Barometer" and "Television" were published in issue 117 of Geist in March, 2021. You can read "Barometer" online here. And "Television" online here.

"Wind Turbine" and "Oscillating Fan" were published in The Antigonish Review, issue 201-202, in October, 2020.
"Mirror," "Faucet," and "Coffee Grinder" were published in Vol. 8 Issue 1 (Spring & Summer) of The Humber Literary Review, in print, in September, 2020. An electronic version of these poems is available online (on page 29).
"Goose Neck Lamp" was awarded the £1000 Editors' Prize in the Magma Poetry Competition in the U.K., and was published in issue 77 of Magma Poetry in July, 2020. To read the poem, go to the Magma Poetry Competition page and click on the link to the winning poems.
"Washing Machine" and "Refrigerator" were published in issue 115 of Geist in June 2020.
"Ceiling Fan" and "Spectacles" are read and discussed by the editors in episode 82 of the Painted Bride Quarterly Slush Pile podcast, which came online in May, 2020. They were also published in issue 100 of Painted Bride Quarterly.
"Iron" was published in the Winter 2020 issue of Contemporary Verse 2.
"Crossing the Seine" was published in the April, 2019, issue of The Walrus, and posted online on The Walrus's website on Feb. 14, 2020.

I did an epic interview with Nigel Beale in late December, 2018, for his podcast series The Biblio File. The interview came online in April, 2019.
My essay "A Season in Hell: On The Chemical Life by Jim Johnstone" was published in issue eleven.3 of Hamilton Arts & Letters, 16 Feb. 2019.

​Four of my poems from Sailing to Babylon were reprinted in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry, edited by Jim Johnstone, and published by Anstruther Books in 2018.

My essay "Life Parries Death: The Poetry of Elise Partridge" was published in Canadian Notes & Queries, #99, in May 2017.

Follow me:

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

Write Me a Note

Thanks for getting in touch!