Also writes as: Mopoke
Born: Established: 1900 Yorkshire ; Died: 1971
James Pollard migrated to Western Australia in 1913. After serving with the AIF in the First World War and being severely wounded, Pollard took up land in the wheatbelt under the soldier settlement scheme but soon abandoned farming for writing. The typescript of an unpublished novel, 'War Cobbers', is held at the Australian War Memorial.
A frequent contributor to Walkabout and, as 'Mopoke', the author of a column on natural history in the West Australian, Pollard also contributed short stories to the Australasian and the Western Mail. Some of these were collected in 1948, titled Twenty-Eight Tales.
Pollard wrote three adult novels and two for children; the Oxford Companion to Australian Literature comments that the adult novels are 'distinguished more by their incidental naturalist descriptions than by any literary features.' Brady and Cowan argue that Pollard demonstrates an 'appeal to a popular audience, and the appreciation of the country itself, a feeling for the relationship of people to the land'. They assert: 'The tone of Pollard's books is popular, he is evoking an emotive, somewhat romantic picture of the beauty of the South-West for a growing number of readers becoming interested in their own country-in fact, the discovery of it through the novel and stories.' (Veronica Brady and Peter Cowen, 'The Novel', The Literature of Western Australia, ed. Bruce Bennett (1979) 49-104.)
Pollard lobbied for and established free libraries for children.