Springside Chestnut Hill Academy english teacher Iain Haley Pollack was on Radio Times today talking about how his bi-racial identity shapes his poetry. Most people who see Pollack assume he is white because of his light skin. His father is white and his mother is black.
Pollack says his poetry is laced with many of his personal experiences of seeing racism from a unique perspective. His poetry though is not strictly biographical. In one of his poems, his mother is mistaken for his servant. Pollack says that what really happened was that his mom was mistaken for being the servant of his sister.
Pollock’s first collection of poetry, “Spit Back a Boy,” won last year’s Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a first-book award “dedicated to the discovery of exceptional manuscripts by African American poets.”
(Springside School and Chestnut Hill Academy officially merged on July 1, 2011)