Adam Dickinson


PhD Alberta

Office: GLA 102
905 688 5550  x5315

Teaching Areas: Poetics, Creative Writing, Literary Theory

Adam Dickinson is a poet and a professor of poetry. His creative and academic writing has primarily focused on intersections between poetry and science as a way of exploring new ecocritical perspectives and alternative modes of poetic composition. His latest book, Anatomic (Coach House Books), involves the results of chemical and microbial testing on his body, and was shortlisted for The Raymond Souster Award. Sections of it were also shortlisted for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Poetry Prize. His book, The Polymers (House of Anansi), which is an imaginary science project that combines the discourses, theories, and experimental methods of the science of plastic materials with the language and culture of plastic behaviour, was a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He has published two previous books, Kingdom, Phylum (also nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry) and Cartography and Walking (nominated for an Alberta Book Award). His scholarly work (supported by SSHRC) brings together research in innovative poetics, biosemiotics, pataphysics, and Anthropocene studies.

His current research-creation project, “Metabolic Poetics,” (also supported by SSHRC) is concerned with the potential of expanded modes of reading and writing to shift the frames and scales of conventional forms of signification in order to bring into focus the often inscrutable biological and cultural writing intrinsic to the Anthropocene, especially as this is reflected in the inextricable link between the metabolic processes of human and nonhuman bodies and the global metabolism of energy and capital.

He has been featured at prominent international literary festivals, such as Poetry International in Rotterdam, The Harbourfront International Festival of Authors in Toronto, and the Oslo International Poetry Festival in Norway. Adam has also been a finalist for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature, Administered by the Ontario Arts Council. Adam welcomes potential student supervisions on topics in poetry and poetics, environmental writing, science and literature, and creative writing.

Anatomic. Toronto: Coach House Books, 2018. Finalist for The Raymond Souster Award. A section of the book was a finalist for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize.

The Polymers. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2013. Finalist for the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, finalist for the 2014 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and finalist for the ReLit Award for Poetry.

Kingdom, Phylum. London, Ontario: Brick Books, 2006. Finalist for the 2007 Trillium Book Award for Poetry.

Cartography and Walking. London, Ontario: Brick Books, 2002.  Finalist for The Henry Kreisel Award for Best First Book, Alberta Book Awards.

(co-edited with Madhur Anand). Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry. Sudbury, ON: Your Scrivener Press, 2009.

“Metabolism.” Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment. Eds. Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017. 220-223.

“Energy Humanities and Metabolic Poetics.” Reviews in Cultural Theory 6.3 (2016): 17-21.

“Pataphysics and Postmodern Ecocriticism: A Prospectus.” Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. Ed. Greg Garrard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 132-151.

“Imaginary Solutions for Water: Pataphysics and Biosemiotics in Erin Mouré and Lisa Robertson.” Greening the Maple: Canadian Ecocriticism in Context. Eds. Ella Soper and Nicholas Bradley. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2013. 439-473.

“Better Living through Pataphysics: The Biosemiotics of Kenneth Goldsmith.” Time in Time: Short Poems, Long Poems, and the Rhetoric of North American Avant-Gardism, 1963-2008. Ed. J. Mark Smith.  Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2013. 132-151.

“Pataphysics and Biosemiotics in Lisa Robertson’s Office for Soft Architecture.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 18.3 (2011): 615-636.

“The Weather of Weeds: Lisa Robertson’s Rhizome Poetics.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge 15 (2007). 7,546 words; 25 paragraphs. (Special Issue on Deleuze and Guattari’s Ecophilosophy edited by Dianne Chisholm)

“Lyric Ethics: Ecocriticism, Material Metaphoricity, and the Poetics of Don McKay and Jan Zwicky.” Canadian Poetry 55 (2004): 34-52.

In journals such as: Arc Poetry Magazine, BafterC, Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012, and 2014Boston Reviewboulderpavement: arts and ideas, Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies, Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, dANDelion, English Studies in Canada, Environmental Humanities, Event, Lemon Hound, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, PRISM International, Rampike, TRUCK, and The Walrus.