Sylvia Byrne Pollack with Elizabeth Austen
Having lived a full, busy life - and still doing so - Seattle’s Sylvia Byrne Pollack started writing poetry in earnest over a decade ago, in her sixties. Poems along the way have appeared in Floating Bridge Review, Crab Creek Review, Clover, and Antiphon, among other publications, and her work has been recognized with a Mason’s Road Literary Award, a Mineral School residency, and being a Jack Straw fellow. And now there is a splendid book: Risking It (Red Mountain Press).
“These smart, funny, beautifully crafted poems show us a whole life lived wholeheartedly. The various parts intertwine, just as they do in the book, which is one arc rather than separate sections. The riveting voice that leads us through them is sometimes refracted by other personas ... The poems touch on food, love, the natural world, politics, joy and despair, illness and aging, and mortality, but always return, finally to joy and celebration. They dare us to be fully present in our lives.” –Sharon Bryan.
“The best company has intelligence, humanity, conviction, and some je ne sais quoi factor: mischief; lovability; great dance moves. Risking It is that kind of company. Sylvia Byrne Pollack writes with relish about mortality and long love, deafness, the “frizzante bubbles of mania” and depression, from Mona Lisa’s erotic life to rabbit test subjects to a soulful beach rock named Gregory. Pollack’s poems are intimately familiar with the dark–especially her alter egos, Letitia and the deaf woman–but counter it with the bright glow of playful language and a keen, reverent mind … This collection is a delight.” - Kathleen Flenniken.
With Sylvia Byrne Pollack on this celebratory evening will be Seattle poet, teacher, and former Washington State Poet Laureate Elizabeth Austen.