Alexander G. McKay Book Prize

The Vergilian Society awards the Alexander G. McKay Book Prize for the best book in Vergilian studies. The prize, which is accompanied by a cash award of $500 or a life membership in the Vergilian Society (valued at $800), is awarded every other year to the book that, in the opinion of the prize evaluation committee, makes the greatest contribution toward our understanding and appreciation of Vergil or topics related to Vergil. Works of literary criticism, biography, bibliography, textual criticism, reference, history, archaeology, and the classical tradition are all eligible, provided that Vergilian studies represent a significant portion of the discussion. The winner is recognized at the Vergilian Society session at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies.

The authors of books being considered for the McKay Prize must be members of the Vergilian Society at the time their books are submitted; for new members or to renew memberships see

A copy of each book to be considered, and an email listing any book sent, should be sent to both members of the prize evaluation committee by July 15 in the year of consideration. Copies may be submitted in the traditional book form or in digital form. For the addresses of the prize evaluation committee members and for any questions about the competition, please contact the Vergilian Society President.

Alexander “Sandy” McKay, 1924-2007, was a Duke of Wellington Scholar at the
University of Toronto, where he graduated with honors in Classics, a Kellogg
Fellow at Yale, and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Princeton. After teaching at
numerous colleges, he landed at McMaster, where he served for 33 years as
teacher, scholar, and administrator. Sandy was an early leader of tours for the
Vergilian Society, which he continued for nearly fifty years. Perhaps he will be
best remembered in posterity for his indefatigable annual bibliographies of
Vergil published for over forty years in Vergilius, each list running into the
hundreds of items. As a result, every Vergil scholar is eternally in his debt. He
served as President of the Vergilian Society from 1972-74 and was named
honorary president for life in 1988. The Society established the McKay Book
Prize in 2007 in his honor. – revised from a biography written by Ward Briggs