David O'Meara

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David O'Meara (born Pembroke, Ontario) is a Canadian poet.


He was raised in Pembroke, Ontario. He lives in Sandy Hill, Ottawa, where he tends bar at The Manx Pub.

O'Meara was a judge for the 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize.


  • Gerald Lampert Award, for Storm Still
  • 2004 Lampman-Scott Award, for The Vicinity
  • 2009 Archibald Lampman Award, for "Noble Gas, Penny Black"
  • 2014 Archibald Lampman Award, for "A Pretty Sight"

O'Meara wins the Lampman Award every five years, and is thus due for his next win in 2019.






His poem "Field Crossing" , which appeared in the collection Storm Still, has been set to music by Ottawa-born composer C. Scott Tresham. The work, entitled "Field-Crossing:A Pastoral Cantata for Unaccompanied Chorus, was commissioned by the Ottawa Choral Society, and premiered by the choir in 2003, under the direction of conductor Iwan Edwards.


With the publication of The Vicinity in 2003, David O’Meara established himself as one of the best contemporary poets in Canada. As proof of O’Meara’s skill, consider his “Riding the Escalators” (from The Vicinity), which is the apotheosis of formal dexterity synchronized with inquiry into the very possibility of inquiry in a “post-post-modern” age[3]

The owner of a well-thumbed Baedeker, David O’Meara is constantly drawn to what he called in his first book, Storm Still (1999), the “flawlessly foreign.” Wales, Japan, Italy, and Tunisia are some of the far-flung places his poems have described. O’Meara, however, isn’t interested in package excursions. He prizes, and convincingly registers, alien encounters, situations where “our normal props of distraction,” as he explained in an interview with Ottawater, “have been disturbed.”[4]

There are several divides in Anglo-Canadian poetry, and one of them is between poets who favour a plain approach and those who prefer to be more rambunctious in diction and tone. O’Meara belongs to the first category. Where other poets go for fireworks, he goes for single matches struck against the dark.[5]


  1. ^ http://www.ottawaxpress.ca/stage/stage.aspx?iIDArticle=14895
  2. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20091027034707/http://geocities.com/newtheatreottawa/
  3. ^ Alessandro Porco. "A Timely Defence". Canadian Notes & Queries (76). Archived from the original on 2011-08-09. 
  4. ^ Carmine Starnino. "on David 0'Meara: Arriving Early". Arc Poetry Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-09-25. 
  5. ^ George Elliott Clarke. "Poetry, Non-Fiction, Fiction and Poetry Reviews". Maple Tree Literary Supplement. 

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