Eric Linn Ormsby, born in Atlanta in 1941, is a poet, a scholar, and a man of letters. He was a longtime resident of Montreal, where he was the Director of University Libraries and subsequently a professor of Islamic thought at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. Presently, he lives and writes in London, England, where he is Professor and Chief librarian at the Institute of Ismaili Studies.
Ormsby began writing poetry as a young man and began publishing in 1985. He has six poetry collections, Bavarian Shrine and Other Poems (1990), which won a Quebec prize for the best poetry of that year, Coastlines (1992), For a Modest God: New & Selected Poems (1997), Araby (2001), Daybreak at the Straits (2004), and Time’s Covenant (2006). His poems have been published in various journals and magazines such as The New Yorker and The Paris Review and anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Poetry. He has also authored a book of essays on poetry and translation, including Arabic literature.