© 2018-2019 by Michael Prior.


Michael Prior is a writer and teacher. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines and anthologies across North America and the UK, including Poetry, The New Republic, Narrative, Ambit, The Margins, Verse Daily, Global Poetry Anthology 2015, The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry, and the Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day series. He is a past winner of Magma Poetry's Editors' Prize, The Walrus's Poetry Prize, and Matrix Magazine's Lit POP Award for Poetry. His first full-length book of poems, Model Disciple, was published by Véhicule Press in 2016 and was named one of the best books of the year by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His second book, Burning Province, will be published by McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House in Spring 2020.

Michael holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and Cornell University. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Macalester College. 



Burning Province (M&S/Penguin Random House, forthcoming 2020)

Model Disciple (Véhicule Press, 2016)


"Century Plants," The New Republic

"Wakeful Things," Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day series

"My Father's Birthday is the Day Before Mine," POETRY

Three poemsThe PN Review 

Two poems, Poetry Northwest

"Campanology," Narrative

"Minoru," The Margins

Two poems, The Manchester Review

"Grandfather's Axes," The Walrus

"In Cloud Country," The Walrus


Model Disciple

Named one of the best books of the year by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Walrus

From the Publisher:

A mesmerizing and moving first collection, Model Disciple gives us a poetry of two minds. Confounded by Japanese-Canadian legacies too painful to fully embrace, Michael Prior’s split speakers struggle to understand themselves as they submit to their reinvention: "I am all that is wrong with the Old World, / and half of what troubles the New." Prior emerges as a poet not of identity, but identities. Invented identities, double identities, provisional identities—his art always bearing witness to a sense of self held long enough to shed at a moment’s notice. Model Disciple's Ovidean shape-shifting is driven by formal mastery and mot juste precision. It’s also one of the most commanding poetic debuts in years. 


"'Discomfort / enthralls me,' writes Michael Prior, a poet who has published, seemingly, everywhere, and whose list of accolades is monumental...The strengths of the collection reside in movement, and Prior’s ability to generate one image and end up somewhere surprising."

—Micheline Maylor, The Quill & Quire

“An elegantly written book...The poetry’s gorgeous language and the striking participation of the grandfather...more than compensate for Prior’s restraint, making this book an experience worth having.” 

—Rigoberto González, Los Angeles Review of Books 

"Prior [has] formal strength and self-conscious wit...His inventive approaches to self-revelation help break his work out of a purely confessional mode and give it refreshing emotional range."

—Abby Paige, Montreal Review of Books