The Ontario Poetry Society
~Roy Adams

About TOPS










Ted Plantos Dedication






A university drop-out at 18, Roy J. Adams, who grew up in Philadelphia, Pa, reconsidered his future and decided to become a writer. With much guidance, he scribbled ersatz effigies of short stories resulting in a stack of rejection slips. By the time he was twenty, he was a total flop.

Just before being drafted, he joined the U.S. Army, became a paratrooper and acquired a black belt in Tae Kwan Do. After his discharge he went to Penn State where, with the help of his university educated wife, Marilyn, and knowing he was in lastchanceville, he turned it around and finished first in his class.

After a brief stint in New York City, he did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin studying International and Comparative Industrial Relations. On completing his dissertation research in England and Sweden, he accepted a position at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario where he stayed for 24 years becoming a Canadian citizen. During those years he lived for short periods in nine other countries and lectured in over 20. He took an early retirement package in 1997 primarily in order to focus on research and promotion of labour rights as human rights.

In subsequent years, he wrote columns for the Hamilton Spectator, and contributed articles to several other periodical publications such as rabble.com, the Straight Good, Our Times, Canadian Dimension, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. He was also the NDP's candidate for MPP in 2003 from Hamilton West, and founded the Hamilton Civic Coalition, a group of community leaders working for the city's improvement. As a result of his research and activism, in 2009/2010 he was appointed Sallows Chair of Human Rights at the University of Saskatchewan. His work on labour rights as human rights was cited several times by the Supreme Court of Canada and he was awarded outstanding achievement awards from professional associations in both Canada and the United States.

After early retirement, he also signed on for various creative writing workshops, sat in on university courses and consulted piles of how-to books on creative writing and poetry. He made only halting progress towards becoming a man of letters, his teenage ambition, until he took up poetry. His first poem worth mentioning - "Getting Through" - was published in Tower Poetry in 2014. Since then his work has been published in Canada (e.g., Vallum, Fiddlehead), the U.S. (e.g., Rats Ass Review, Typishly.org), the U.K. (ninemusespoetry), Singapore (Eunoia Review) and Australia (Ariel Chart).

He is the author of the chapbook, Bebop From Beau's Caboose, published by The Ontario Poetry Society (available at www.thebookband.com) and Critical Mass, a trade paperback (available at www.silverbowpublishing.com and Amazon. His work has won modest distinction (e.g., honourable mention, judge's choice) in a number of poetry contests. His chapbook, Critical Mass (which was later expanded to a full book) was short-listed in the annual chapbook contest of Frog Hollow Press in 2018. In 2019, he was admitted to full membership in the League of Canadian Poets.

He figures that he has put in about 60% of the 10,000 hours necessary to get good at anything and so has another four or five years or so to go before reaching his level of literary incompetence.
(February, 2019).