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Roy J Adams


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First name
Roy J
Last name


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Location (city/town)
Hamilton, Ontario
A university drop-out at 18, Roy J. Adams, who grew up in Philadelphia, Pa, reconsidered his future and decided to become a writer. Without much guidance, by the time he was twenty, he was a flop. At 24, after a stint in the U.S. Army and getting married he returned to university and, this time, was more successful. He completed a B.A. at Penn State and a Ph.D. in Industrial Relations at the University of Wisconsin.
After graduating, he accepted a position at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario where he stayed for 24 years. After an early retirement in 1997, he wrote columns for the Hamilton Spectator, and contributed articles to several other periodical publications including the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. He was a candidate for MPP in 2003 from Hamilton West and in 2009/2010 was appointed Sallows Chair of Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan. His work on labour rights as human rights has been cited several times by the Supreme Court of Canada and he has received outstanding achievement awards from professional associations in both Canada and the United States.
With more time available from 1997, he signed on for various creative writing and poetry workshops, sat in on university courses and consulted piles of poetry instruction books. He made only halting progress towards becoming a man of letters until he took up poetry. His first poem worth mentioning - “Getting Through” - was published in Tower Poetry in 2014. Since then he has published in many lit mags including work in, for example, Vallum, the Fiddlehead, Feathertale, and Hamilton Arts and Letters in Canada; Rats Ass Review, The Curious Element and Lummox and Poetry Super Highway in the U.S., and publications in the U.K. Ireland, Germany, Singapore and Australia. He has won various awards and has published a chapbook and a full book of poetry. A more complete list is included below. In 2019, he became a full member of the League of Canadian Poets.
(February, 2019).


Books and other publications
Poetry Books
Bebop From Beau’s Caboose, a chapbook, The Ontario Poetry Society, Stanza Break Series, no. 63, Toronto, 2018, 24 pgs.
Critical Mass, Silver Bow Publishing, British Columbia, a trade paperback full book of poetry, January 2019, 64 pgs.
Selected Poems
“Getting Through” a poem, in Tower Poetry, A Bi-Annual Publication of the Tower Poetry Society, Summer Edition 2015, Vol. 64, No. 1.
“Dispensable” a poem, winner of a Judges Choice Poetry Award and published in The Banister, An Annual Publication of the Canadian Authors’ Association – Niagara Branch, Volume 30, 2015.
“buds,” a poem, in Ascent Aspirations Friday Poems, Feb, 2016.
“Lost,” a poem published in the Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest Anthology, Spring Pulse Poetry Festival, Cobalt, Ontario, 2016, p. 19.
“Or be her slave?” a poem in Tower Poetry, A Bi-Annual Publication of the Tower Poetry Society, Summer Edition 2016, Vol. 65, No. 1.
“Wild Waters,” a poem, in Vallum: Contemporary Poetry Magazine, v. 13, no. 2, 2016.
“FewDeL,” a poem, in Feathertale Literary Humour Magazine, 30 October 2016
“Bout,” a poem in the online anthology Love and Ensuing Madness, 2017
“or…” a poem in online anthology Love and Ensuring Madness, 2017
My Heart Trembles, Open Heart 11 Anthology of Canadian Poetry, Compiled by Kathryn Edgecombe, Beret Days Press, February 2017.
Cabotage Intime, Rat’s Ass Review, Summer 2017.
Wooly and If Denied, The Curious Element, no. 1, 2017.
“Cheesed in Cheese County,” James McIntyre Poetry Contest Anthology – Ingersoll, 2017.
“The 911 Thing,” The Fiddlehead, No. 274, Winter, 2018.
“My Heart Trembles,” Eunoia Review, January 2018.
“Bluebonnets Bloom in the Panhandle,” Typishly.Org, 2020
Siren Song, Portside.org, 24Mar18.
Contentedly, Rounding Third and Teach Yourself, ninemusespoetry.org, 22 June 2018.
My Heart Trembles, Lummox 7 Poetry Anthology, 2018.
Mae and Me, The Banister, 2018.
“My ethical character" and “How Glenda Jackson became King Lear,” Ariel Chart (Aus.), 2 October, 2018.
“Duchess,” Tower Poetry, vol. 67, no. 2, Winter 2018-2019.
“You Hold My Hand,” Tower Poetry, vol. 67, no. 2, Winter 2018-19.
“How to be Ready,” Fresh Voices, No. 14, League of Canadian Poets, November 2018.
"Hoos," the Ogham Stone Literary Journal, Ireland, 2020.
"Exotic Canasta" and "Cutting Loose," The Poet Magazine, Winter 2020-2021.
"Blasting Elvis and Buddy Holly," Poetry Super Highway, 2021.
Awards and other achievements
Judge’s Choice, Annual Poetry Contest of the Canadian Author’s Assn, Niagara Branch, 2015, 2018 and 2020
Honourable Mention, William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest, 2016
2nd Place (Chaucer of Cheese Category) James McIntyre Poetry Contest, 2016
2nd Place (J.C, Herbert Award) James McIntyre Poetry Contest, 2016
Honourable Mention, The Ontario Poetry Society Open Heart Contest, 2017, 2019.
Featured Poem, Raw Dog Press, March, 2017
3rd place (Chaucer of Cheese Category) James McIntyre Poetry Contest, 2017
Winner, Creative Challenge #16, Typishly.org, March, 2018
Featured Poet, ninemusespoetry, June 2018
Short List, Frog Hollow Press Chapbook Contest, 2018
Quarter-finalist, Able Muse Write Award for Poetry, 2018.
Honourable Mention, The Ontario Poetry Society Rain-on-the-Brain Contest, 2020
Honourable Mention, The Ontario Poetry Society Ultra-Short Contest, 2020.
Poet-of-the-Week for Feb. 8-14, Poetry Super Highway, 2021.
  • Print poetry
  • Prose poetry
Genres (non-poetry)
  • Creative non-fiction
  • Journalism
  • Academic writing


Contact poet directly
I may be contacted at adamsr@mcmaster.ca and am open to school visits, readings, panels, etc.
International bookings
Open Mic presentations in New Jersey and Delaware, USA.
  • Ontario