Pacific professor nominated for Northern California Book Award in poetry

Camille Norton

Camille Norton, University of the Pacific English professor, has been nominated for a Northern California Book Award in poetry.

Norton's third book is a new full-length collection of poems called A Folio for the Dark, which takes readers in and out of literal and metaphoric captivity, imprisonment and exile—from inside themselves, their homes, histories; from their spiritual lives; from their bodies and sexuality.

"These poems are about the experience of reading American history," said Norton. "The book is haunted by the injustices of our national past."

Originally from the East Coast, Norton joined the Pacific faculty in 1994. She teaches courses in poetry, gender studies and critical theory. Although Norton rarely teaches her own work, she approaches all literature courses from the perspective of someone who writes and reads with a particular passion for the power of language.

“I try to bring the sense of a creative intersection between the arts and the world into all of my courses,” remarked Norton. “It is my intention to think with my students and to create learning communities that create a model for how students can become intellectuals and writers.”

Norton began writing poetry when she was just 12 years old. She was the child of an immigrant mother and had to make her own way to college. As a first-generation college graduate, she is a fierce advocate for first-generation students at Pacific.

"I appreciate the small student-to-faculty ratio at Pacific and how the undergraduate experience is at the center of everything we do here," said Norton. “I feel there is a genuine warmth between students and faculty that you will not find at many universities."

Established in 1981, the Northern California Book Awards honor the work of Northern California authors and translators, and recognize exceptional service to the community by Northern California writers and literary leaders. All nominated authors were recognized during a virtual ceremony held on Sept. 13.

To view a list of this year’s nominees, click here.