Iain Haley Pollock
   

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SPIT BACK A BOY

Winner of the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Selected by Elizabeth Alexander

 

 

 

 

“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


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Iain Haley Pollock © 2011