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Poetry. Disability Studies. Politics. In Sylvia Byrne Pollack's debut collection, RISKING IT, the titular poem asks "how to prepare for death." Pollack's science background and life experiences inform work that is ultimately joyful, with every pun intended. Her words sizzle even at the darkest subjects, whether pondering serum extracted from lab animals or her own cells gone amok. Through personae, the Deaf Woman and Letitia, she confronts hearing loss and mental illness with a researcher's precision and poet’s playfulness. RISKING IT is an invitation "to rip open the cocoon and emerge."
Sylvia Byrne Pollack was raised in a music-loving family in Batavia, NY. In the wake of Sputnik, she chose to study science. She earned a B.A. in Zoology from Syracuse University, a Ph.D in Developmental Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.A. in psychology from Antioch University-Seattle. She is Research Professor Emeritus after a long career in cancer research at the University of Washington. Following a trip to Antarctica in 2007, Sylvia began to focus on poetry. Her poems appear in Floating Bridge Review, Crab Creek Review, Clover, and Antiphon among other print and online journals. She is a two-time Pushcart nominee, won the 2013 Mason's Road Winter Literary Award, was a 2019 Jack Straw Writer and will be a 2021 Mineral School resident.Author City: SEATTLE, WA USA