'The Swailing' by Patrick James Errington ’15 Coming This Spring

Jessie Shohfi
February 21, 2023

The swailing, a debut poetry collection from alumnus Patrick James Errington ’15, will be released this spring from McGill-Queen's University Press.

A selection of poems from the swailing was recognized earlier last year when Errington was named the recipient of the 2022 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award. The sequence “confronts embered landscapes of memory and loss in sonorous, sensory-rich language,” said the Award jury. “These poems move with undeniable grace and attention, subtly adopting and subverting lyrical and pastoral tropes to pose tough questions about the fragile boundaries between health and illness, presence and absence, place and displacement.”

Writing Professor Timothy Donnelly praised the swailing, saying, “Among the many virtues of Patrick Errington’s impeccably constructed debut is its nearly forensic attention to the minutest particulars: ‘Last night’s rain is pearling the spruce, the timothy.’ What is most astonishing about this exactitude is that rather than dispelling the mystery of being in the world, it fills the reader with renewed marveling and reverence.”

“Endless thanks & love to all the wonderful folks out there who have one way or another helped this book into being (you know who you are),” Errington tweeted

The swailing will be released on April 15 and is available for preorder here

Patrick James Errington is a poet, translator, literary critic, and academic. His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies including The Poetry Review, Best New Poets, The Iowa Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Boston Review, and The Fiddlehead. Errington is the author of two chapbooks, Glean and Field Studies. His work has won several prizes, including the Poetry International Prize. A graduate of the University of Alberta (BA, 2011) where he studied under the late Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, Errington also holds a PhD for his research in poetic theory and enactive hermeneutics from the University of St Andrews (2018). Originally from Alberta, Errington now lives in Scotland where he teaches and researches at The University of Edinburgh.