GHOST, LIKE A PLACE
Alice James Books
Iain Pollock has a slow, steady hand that's fine tuning the pentatonic chambers where whole and half notes of the heart glisten the world. This Ghost, like a Place is a phantasm of small psalms settling into territory familiar with new beginnings and bearing ragged, but revealing truths.
—Tyehimba Jess, author of Olio, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
“The ghosts that haunt Iain Haley Pollock’s poems have substance. Some have names: Tamir. Rex. Emmett. Black boys of Philadelphia. Their voices are ‘the chattering of crows in a distant sycamore.’ There is awe in these voices, and self-deprecation, and lament. Most—despite the fact that there is little comfort to offer here—there is a faith in the body, in humanity, to bear its burdens. Read Ghost, like a Place, and ‘know, finally, the rapture and wildness of belief.'”
—Meg Kearney, author of Home By Now
SPIT BACK A BOY
Winner of the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize
University of Georgia Press
“Beyond the bracing intelligence in these poems, beyond the surges of joy and trouble, beyond the poet’s awe in this split second, he plunges with imagination into the timeless work of loving witness, resonant with high style and the blues. Wherever Iain Pollock turns, the search is on, in history, art, family, in things on display and hidden in himself. What he finds he finds the art to celebrate with tenderness and wisdom.”
—Brooks Haxton, author of They Lift Their Wings to Cry
"If the ear is tuned to catch it, there is music in our blood. Train the eyes for nuance, you can trace the history of our skins. In Spit Back a Boy, his impressive first book, you can read the dance Iain Haley Pollock has had with time, location, family and their various repercussions. A lesser poet would freeze in complaint. If the spirit is generous, and the balance between living and letters match, a fine book of poems sings the author and the reader free."
—Cornelius Eady, Miller Family Chair in Writing and Literature, University of Missouri-Columbia
"We all hear a personal music, and it’s up to us to create the moves to go with it. Pollock listens well, and his dance is all strut and stomp, wild and wooly, and filled with the stories he’s seen, heard, and lived. Focusing on themes of racial identity, romance, the everyday things in life, and ever-looming mortality, these poems are built on jazz, troubles, pain, gunfire in the night, blues. . ."
—Louis McKee, Library Journal