Albert Frank Moritz, poet, professor (b 15 Apr 1947 at Niles, Ohio, US). A.F. Moritz attended Marquette University (Wisconsin), where he earned a BA in journalism and a MA and PhD in English literature. Since 1974 he has lived in Toronto, where he is a professor at the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
. He is a Canadian citizen. While he has worked as a newspaper reporter, film columnist, advertising copywriter and executive, editor and publisher, he is celebrated in Canada for his significant body of poetic work.Moritz’s influences are eclectic: from the natural world of his childhood in Ohio to classical mythology, the liturgy of the Catholic Mass, and the masterworks of world literature. He is acclaimed as a master of sophisticated syntax who pens complex, often politically engaged work. His first collection, Here
(1975), was published after his move to Canada, and many others have followed; he has released 15 collections thus far. Two collections have been particularly recognized: Night Street Repairs
(2004), like much of Moritz’s work, focuses on time and the way our culture tends to make choices to destroy itself. The work is provoking, with a sense of urgency and yearning for rejuvenation. Night Street Repairs
won the ReLit Award for Poetry in 2005. The Sentinel
(2008) draws from the historical and literary past while evaluating the present. Abstract, lyrical and infused with beauty, this collection was short-listed for the GOVERNOR GENERAL
‘s Award, was a GLOBE AND MAIL
Top 100 Book of the Year for 2009, and was awarded the 2009 GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE
Moritz sometimes collaborates with his wife, Theresa; together they have written biographies of StephenLEACOCK (1985) and Emma Goldman (2001), and edited The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to Canada(1987). Moritz has also edited anthologies and has published numerous translations, including several volumes of the work of South American poet and artist Ludwig Zeller, with whom he also collaborated in his collectionPhantoms in the Ark (1994).
A.F. Moritz was included in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets in 1984, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990, and received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1991.
Author CHARLENE DAVIS