Patrick Woodcock

William Patrick Woodcock, poet, writer (b at Toronto 12 Jul 1968). Patrick Woodcock's father is an Irishman who was constantly singing and leaving poems for Patrick's ballet teacher mother. Woodcock and his brother studied a number of musical instruments and Woodcock sang in a choir for almost a decade. He attributes these experiences, as well as growing up on a lake, where he would sit alone and listen to music, staring at the waves for hours, as his inspiration to become a writer. "I've always had a very well-cultivated imagination," he has observed.

Woodcock has spent much of his life as an expatriate, rarely remaining in one locale for an extended period. He has worked as a professor of literature in Ibagué, Colombia, and has lived in countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bosnia and Russia. In Canada, he has served as the poetry editor for the Literary Review of Canada, and has taught at SHERIDAN COLLEGE in Oakville, Ont. He currently lives in Iraq.

Patrick Woodcock's writing avoids easy definition. Rather than adhering to one conventional form Woodcock changes his style and themes whenever he deems necessary. His poems often create extreme and jarring contrasts between the content and the style. This method sometimes fails and sometimes astonishes; it makes him a uniquely recognizable voice.

Always Die Before Your Mother (2009) is a collection of poetry that explores the major themes of poverty, oppression, loss and death. The work incorporates writing and photography from the poet's time in Lithuania, Russia, Bosnia, Colombia and other locales. Many of the poems reflect Woodcock's grief after the loss of his mother. Woodcock draws from the globe for his inspiration, creating writing that is heart wrenching, striking and indicative of humanity's failings. Some of Woodcock's other works include The Six O'Clock Club (1996); AThElia (1997); Scarring Endymion (1999); The Challenged One (2003); and "The Ballet of Patrick Blue Ass," published in AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds (2003); Teatr Panike (published in Bosnia, 2004); and Echo Gods and Silent Mountains (to be published in 2012).

Patrick Woodcock's work has been published throughout Canada, the US, England, India, Colombia and other countries, and has been translated into 11 languages. Always Die Before Your Mother reached the top of the GLOBE AND MAIL's Poetry Bestsellers list and was short-listed for Canada's Relit award for poetry in 2010.