McWhirter, George

George mcWhirter
George McWhirter. Image source poetrymap.ca

George McWhirter was born in Belfast in 1939 and left to live in Spain in 1965.

His poetry collections include Catalan Poems (Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1971), which shared the Commonwealth Prize for Poetry with Chinua Achebe in 1972; Queen of the Sea (Oberon Press, 1976); The Island Man ( Oberon Press, 1981); Fire Before Dark ( Oberon Press, 1983); A Staircase for All Souls (B.C. Canada, Oolichan Books, 1993); The Book of Contradictions (Oolichan Books, 2002); The Incorrection (Oolichan Books, 2007 and The Anachronicles (Vancouver, Canada, Ronsdale Press, 2008).

His novels are Paula Lake (Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1985); Cage (Oberon Press, 1987, winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize) and The Listeners (Oberon Press, 1991).

His short story collections are Bodyworks (Ottawa, Oberon Press, 1974); God’s Eye ( Oberon Press, 1981); Coming to Grips with Lucy (Oberon Press, 1982); A Bad Day to Be Winning (Oberon Press, 1984) and Musical Dogs ( Oberon Press, 1996).

His translations of Mexican poetry include José Emilio Pacheco: Selected Poems (New York, New Directions, 1987), which won the F.R. Scott Prize for Translation; Eyes to See Otherwise: The Selected Poems of Homero Aridjis (U.K., Carcanet Press /New York, New Directions, 2002) and Solar Poems by Homero Aridjis (San Francisco, City Lights, 2010).

He edited the anthologies Where Words Like Monarchs Fly: A Cross-generational Anthology of Mexican Poets in Translation (Vancouver, Anvil Press, 1998) and A Verse Map of Vancouver (Anvil Press, 2009).

He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of Vancouver, 2007 to 2009 and lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he has lived since 1966.


Poet Laureate Map of Canada
George McWhirter at The National Library of Ireland