Sylvia Byrne Pollack at Jack Straw

Selves – Sylvia Byrne Pollack

Sylvia Byrne Pollack’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a collection of prose poems written from the perspective of two fictional characters who deal with disability and mental illness. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss Sylvia’s history as a scientist, her return to writing, and personification as a tool to grapple with one’s own struggles. “It’s been clear that if I want to be of service, one way I can do that is to use my poetry to talk about these issues and to, hopefully, pull back the curtain for other people so that they can see what it might be like to experience some of these things.”

Music by The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.