20130524_161314George Murray’s eight books of poetry include QUICK (ECW, 2017), Diversion (2015), Whiteout (2012), Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms (2010), The Rush to Here (Nightwood, 2007), The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart, 2003). His first book for children, Wow Wow and Haw Haw (Breakwater) was published in the spring of 2014. He has been widely anthologized and has published poems and fiction in journals and magazines in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Europe. He is a former poetry editor for the Literary Review of Canada and has been a contributing editor for several journals, including Canadian Notes & Queries, Maisonneuve, and The Drunken Boat. He regularly reviews poetry and fiction for the Globe and Mail. He has won or been shortlisted for several awards, and he has been on the part time faculty at University of Toronto, New School University, and Humber College. From 2003 to 2011, he was the editor and operator of the popular literary website Bookninja.com. He has lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, since 2006 and was made the poet laureate there in 2014. He is currently the editor of NewPoetry.ca.


Selected Chapbooks:

  • Exit Strategy, Kilmog Press, 2010 (New Zealand)
  • A Set of Deadly Negotiations, Frog Hollow Press, 2005 (BC)
  • Who Do You Think You Are? Wayward Armadillo Press, 2002 (Toronto)

Selected Anthologies:

  • Short Circuits, Schaffner Press (New York), 2017
  • Short Flights: Aphorisms, Schaffner Press (New York), 2015
  • Best of Walrus Poetry, (Toronto) 2013
  • Best Canadian Poetry, (Toronto) 2012
  • Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology, Mansfield Press (Toronto), 2010
  • Open Wide a Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems, Wilfred Laurier University Press (Waterloo), 2008
  • Jailbreaks and Re-creations: 99 Canadian Sonnets, Biblioasis (Windsor), 2008
  • Gertrude Stein Award Anthology, Green Integer Press (California), 2006
  • The New Canon, Signal Press (Montreal), 2005
  • Breathing Fire 2, (Vancouver), 2004
  • Das Gedächtnis der Wörter, (Berlin), 2003
  • The Common Sky: Canadian Writers Against the War, Three Squares Press (Toronto), 2003
  • 100 Poets Against the War, Salt Publishing (UK/Australia), 2003
  • Poetry After 9-11: An Anthology of New York Poets, Melville House (New York), Fall 2002
  • Introductions: Poets Present Poets, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Toronto), Spring 2001

Selected Journals and Magazines:

Alphabet City, Antigonish Review, B&A, Backwards City Review, Canadian Poetries, Capilano Review, Contemporary Verse 2, Descant, Fiddlehead, Geist, Grain, Granta, Hazlitt, Hotel Amerika, Iowa Review, Jacket, Lemon Hound, London Magazine, LRC, Mid-American Review, Nerve, New American Writing, New Quarterly, New Welsh Review, nthposition, Ontario Review, Painted Bride, Pequod, Prairie Fire, Prism International, The Puritan, Radical Society, Rampike, Riddle Fence, Slope, The Walrus, and others.

Selected Awards:

  • 2013, Atlantic Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2013, EJ Pratt Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2011, Independent Publisher Book Award for Poetry, Bronze
  • 2011, EJ Pratt Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2008, EJ Pratt Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2007, Atlantic Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2007, CAA Poetry Prize, Shortlist
  • 2006, PIP Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative Poetry
  • 2003, New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing
  • Various awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, City of St. John’s, and the Newfoundland Labrador Arts Council


  1. Hi George!

    I just dropped in to check out your little place on the web.

    Nice work. It’s nice to see that literature and language are still respected and put to good use by some, even up there in the Great White North!


  2. Dear George

    Please, send me your mailing address. I’d like to send you a volume from my bilingual series of McKay’s poetry (Italian/English)that just came out. Hope you are well in the boreal paradise.

    Warmest regards,


  3. George,
    This is a rather odd question but what the hell. Were you gassing up a white mini-van at the Petro Can, corner of Old Sambro and Herring Cove Roads mid-March-ish 2008? Sorry to trouble you but I couldn’t help asking. It might’ve even been 2009.

    It’s just a gas station but an especially dramatic one, frequented by chaps like Jimmy Melvin. http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/39996-melvin-gets-another-21-months-jail. And girls with large fluffy white poodles. Quite a spectrum. I don’t usually write fan mail but your poetry is remarkable.


    • Hi Marla,

      Thanks for the kind words! No, I don’t think that was me. I come to Halifax about once a year or so, except when passing through the airport. The place is too exciting for me, what with all the criminals and poodles… 🙂

      Thanks for writing.


  4. Hi again,
    No, I suppose it wasn’t you. But gosh, you sure do resemble that fellow. At any rate, I am going to convince the book club to try poetry – looking forward to Whiteout!

    • Glimpse is probably the best bet for a book club. It gets great response from people who traditionally don’t dig poetry. Thanks for trying!


  5. […] is my “Question-less Book Interview,” courtesy of George Murray over at Open Book Toronto. (If you’re familiar with George R.R. Martin’s A Song of […]

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