Sailing to Babylon is the first full-length collection from James Pollock. These are poems of exploration and discovery of the self and the universal. Closer to home, there is the schoolboy fascination with the English teacher; the grandmother’s old Bible; a Dantean-style extended account of a hiking adventure with a young son, fully realized in terza rima. Further out in time and geography, Pollock muses on figures from Canadian history—explorers Henry Hudson, David Thompson, and John Franklin; pioneering literary theorist Northrop Frye; and pianist Glenn Gould. Each of these quests has accompanying trials or triumphs. This is a collection full of surprises and pleasures, with a treasure-chest mapped for discovery in “an image of the world/ made small enough to hold inside the mind.” A book that has the power to take you “to the place/ exactly where you always meant to go.”
About the authors
James Pollock grew up in southwestern Ontario. He is a graduate of York University and completed his doctorate at the University of Houston where he held several fellowships in poetry. He was a John Woods Scholar in the Prague Summer Program at Charles University in the Czech Republic, and a work-study scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. Pollock's critical reviews and essays have appeared in journals on both sides of the border, including Contemporary Poetry Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, The New Quarterly, Books in Canada, Literary Review of Canada and Canadian Notes & Queries. His poetry has been published in The Paris Review, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, Canadian Literature, AGNI, Maisonneuve, Southern Poetry Review, Geist, The Del Sol Review and elsewhere. In 2010 he was short-listed in Best Canadian Poetry. He is an Associate Professor at Loras College, in Dubuque, Iowa, where he teaches poetry, writing and Canadian Literature. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Jeffery Donaldson is the author of Palilalia, a finalist for the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, Waterglass, and Once out of Nature. He has also the co-editor of Frye and the Word: Religious Contexts in the Writings of Northrop Frye. Donaldson teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University. He lives on the Niagara Escarpment near Grimsby, Ontario.
- Short-listed, Governor General Literary Awards