Russell Thornton is a North Vancouver poet. His collection House Built of Rain (Harbour, 2003) was a Dorothy Livesay Prize finalist and a ReLit Award finalist. He won first prize in the League of Canadian Poets National Contest in 2000 and he won The Fiddlehead magazine's Ralph Gustafson Prize in 2009.

Russell Thornton's collection Birds, Metals, Stones & Rain (Harbour 2013) was nominated for a Governor General's Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Raymond Souster Award, administered by the League of Canadian Poets and given to any member-poet who has published a book in the previous year.

Russell Thornton has lived for periods of several years in Montreal, in Aberystwyth, Wales, and in Larissa and Thessaloniki, Greece. Poems set in the eastern Mediterranean are featured in his collection, The Hundred Lives, along with a series of sonnet responses to the Gospel story of Lazarus. Some of his poems also appear in Greek translation in the anthologies Foreign Language Poems on Thessaloniki (Kedros Publishers, Athens, 1997), Into a Foreign Tongue Goes Our Grief: Poems On or After Cavafy (Bilieto Publishers, Peania, 2000), and Thessalonki: A City in Literature (Metaixmio Publishers, Athens, 2002).

Thornton's poems have appeared widely in Canadian literary magazines, and in a number anthologies including In Fine Form: The Anthology of Canadian Form Poetry (Polestar, 2005), Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue, 2008), Open Wide A Wilderness: Canadian Nature Poems (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009), A Verse Map of Vancouver (Anvil, 2009), the Montreal International Poetry Prize 2011 Global Anthology (Vehicule, 2012), Poet to Poet (Guernica, 2012), Best Canadian Poetry in English 2012 (Tightrope, 2012), Poems from Planet Earth (Leaf, 2013), and Alive at the Center (Ooligan, 2013). His poems have twice been featured on Vancouver buses as part of B.C.'s Poetry in Transit.

Articles on Thornton's work include "Facing the Environmental Crisis with Contemplative Attention: The Ecopoetics of Don McKay, Tim Lilburn, and Russell Thornton";, which appears in Making Waves: Reading BC and Pacific Northwest Literature (Anvil Press, 2010), and "Four Canadian Poets: McKay, Solie, Thornton, and Barwin";, which appeared in Dream Catcher Magazine, UK, 2010).

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
House Built of Rain


First Prize, League of Canadian Poets National Contest, 2000 ("The Beginnings of Stars")
Shortlisted, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, BC Book Prizes, 2004 (House Built of Rain)
Shortlisted, ReLit Poetry Award, 2004 (House Built of Rain)
Ralph Gustafson Prize, 2009 ("The Rain Bush";)


The Fifth Window (Thistledown Press, 2000)
A Tunisian Notebook (Seraphim Editions, 2002)
House Built of Rain (Harbour Publishing, 2003)
The Human Shore (Harbour, 2006)
Birds, Metals, Stones & Rain (Harbour Publishing, 2013)
The Hundred Lives (Quattro 2014)
The Broken Face (Harbour 2018) $18.95 978-1-55017-844-9

[BCBW 2018]