“Tall If, Irwin’s sixth full-length collection of poetry, begins with a quote from Moby Dick, where Melville describes the ability of the mature mind to cast back into its experience: 'Once gone through, we trace the round again: and are infants, boys, and men, and Ifs eternally.' It is from here that the title of the collection springs: to be an 'If,' it seems, is to be endowed with the power of imagining both past and future. Coincidentally, this is the capability of the author as well, and this author in particular.”—Andrew Allport, RATTLE
About the Author
MARK IRWIN's poetry and essays have appeared widely in many literary magazines including The American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Paris Review, Poetry, The Nation, New England Review, and the New Republic. The author of five previous collections of poetry, The Halo of Desire (1987), Against the Meanwhile, Wesleyan University Press (1989), Quick, Now, Always, BOA (1996), White City, BOA (2000), and Bright Hunger, BOA (2004), he has also translated two volumes of poetry, one from the French and one from the Romanian. Recognition for his work includes The Nation/Discovery Award, four Pushcart Prizes, National Endowment for the Arts and Ohio Art Council Fellowships, two Colorado Council for the Arts Fellowships, two Colorado Book Awards, the James Wright Poetry Award, and fellowships from the Fulbright, Lilly, and Wurlitzer Foundations. He lives in Colorado, and Los Angeles, where he currently teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern California.