A. F. Moritz

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Albert Frank Moritz (born April 15, 1947) is an American-born Canadian poet, teacher, and scholar.[1]

Born in Niles, Ohio,[2] Moritz was educated at Marquette University. Since 1975, he has made his home in Toronto, Ontario where he has worked variously as an advertising copywriter and executive, editor, publisher, and university professor. His poetry has been honored with a 1990 Guggenheim Fellowship, inclusion in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, and numerous other awards. He currently teaches at Victoria College in the University of Toronto.[3]

He was the winner of the ReLit Award for poetry in 2005 for Night Street Repairs, the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2009 for The Sentinel,[4] and the Raymond Souster Award in 2013 for The New Measures.[5] He is a three-time nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry, receiving nominations at the 2000 Governor General's Awards for Rest on the Flight into Egypt,[6] at the 2008 Governor General's Awards for The Sentinel,[7] and at the 2012 Governor General's Awards for The New Measures.[8]

In 2019, Moritz was named as the new Poet Laureate of Toronto.[3]

In May 2019 the Redpath Sugar company decided to withdraw their invitation for Moritz to recite a new poem he had composed at a celebration of the 60th anniversary of their opening of the Redpath Sugar Refinery, on Toronto's waterfront.[9] Passages in his poem reflected on the sugar industry's dark legacy of the use of slave labour. Moritz said he was not offended by Redpath rescinding his invitation, comparing the anniversary celebration to a wedding, where those organizing the event had an unquestionable right to control the event.

He is married to Theresa Moritz, with whom he has collaborated on a number of books.



  • Here – 1975
  • Signs and Certainties – 1979
  • Black Orchid – 1981
  • Between the Root and the Flower – 1982
  • The Visitation – 1983
  • The Tradition – 1986
  • Song of Fear – 1992
  • The Ruined Cottage – 1993
  • Ciudad interior – 1993
  • Phantoms in the Ark – 1994 (with Ludwig Zeller)
  • Mahoning – 1994
  • Night Street Repairs
  • Early Poems
  • Conflicting Desire
  • The End of the Age
  • Rest on the Flight into Egypt – 1999
  • A Houseboat on the Styx
  • The Sentinel (House of Anansi Press, 2008) – winner of the 2009 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize)
  • Sequence - 2015
  • The Sparrow - 2018


  • Canada Illustrated
  • America the Picturesque
  • The Pocket Canada: A Guidebook – 1982
  • Leacock: A Biography – 1985 (with Theresa Moritz)
  • The Oxford Literary Guide to Canada – 1987 (with Theresa Moritz)
  • The World's Most Dangerous Woman: A New Biography of Emma Goldman (with Theresa Moritz)
  • Stephen Leacock: His Remarkable Life (with Theresa Moritz)


  • Children of the Quadrilateral: Selected Poems of Benjamin Péret
  • Testament of Man: Selected Poems of Gilberto Meza
  • Ludwig Zeller in the Country of the Antipodes: Poems 1964–1979
  • The Marble Head and Other Poems, by Ludwig Zeller
  • The Ghost's Tattoos, by Ludwig Zeller
  • Body of Insomnia and Other Poems, by Ludwig Zeller
  • Rio Loa: Station of Dreams, by Ludwig Zeller


  1. ^ "Review: A.F. Moritz does ‘the hard work of looking back’ with career-spanning The Sparrow". The Globe and Mail, July 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "That beautiful affliction; Acclaimed poet A.F. Moritz brings his penetrating voice to Edmonton poetry festival". Edmonton Journal, April 24, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "New poet laureate, A.F. Moritz, calls Toronto an ‘outstanding little city-state’". Toronto Star, March 6, 2019.
  4. ^ "A. F. Moritz named Canadian winner of 2009 Griffin Poetry Prize". National Post, June 4, 2009.
  5. ^ "A.F. Moritz, Gillian Savigny honoured by league". National Post, June 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "Atwood, Ondaatje, Bowering among nominees for Governor General's awards". Canadian Press, October 24, 2000.
  7. ^ "Selected nominees for the Governor General's Literary Awards". Canadian Press, October 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "'It's definitely a way to get noticed'; Finalists for GG Literary Awards announced". National Post, October 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Brendan Kennedy (2019-05-23). "Redpath Sugar asked Toronto's poet laureate to write a poem for its anniversary, but he refused to sugar-coat it". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2019-05-24. Retrieved 2019-05-24. Moritz’s poem, which is titled “The Current of the Sugar,” is written in the form of a glosa, which takes four lines from an admired poem and uses them as the last lines in a new four-stanza poem. The four lines Moritz uses are from a poem written in 1858 by John Redpath, Redpath Sugar’s founder.

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