Michael Pollick


I was born in Akron, Ohio in 1964, but now call the Deep South home. My interest in creative writing started at a very early age, after several teachers entered my class assignments into regional and national writing competitions. I had my first professional publication credit at age 16. I mostly write poetry and microshort fiction, but have also started writing humor essays. Some of these essays were scheduled to appear on the labels of gourmet coffee cans from Portland, Oregon. Others appear in my print titles "Growing Up Bulldog: The Stowbilly Chronicles" and "All That To Say This".

My work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals over the years, including The Iconoclast, Miller's Pond, Midwest Poetry Review, Whatever Remembers Us and Will Work For Peace (new political poems). I have also created a series of visualized poems based on the collection available here at Smashwords. They can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/channels/michaelpollick or at my YouTube channel.

Here's my first professional review:

"By John Davis For The Decatur Daily | 0 comments
By Michael Pollick.
CreateSpace, $5.75, paperback.
I found this collection of essays, vignettes and poetry captivating. Indeed, the essays and poetry are each uniquely valuable, for they reveal entirely different aspects of this gifted writer. I found this collection worthwhile, and here’s why.
Michael Pollick, born and raised in Ohio, and now a Decatur resident, offers a treasure trove of humor. Most intriguing, however, we learn that he is not only genuinely funny, as his essays on school life (and coffee!) reveal, but he is also a mature, intense, thoughtful poet.
You can tell when someone is funny when he can make you laugh, when reading by yourself, about places and people you never met. Pollick is a humorist in the vein of Mark Twain.
He takes relatively benign events, such as his home town’s Fourth of July parade, his grade school’s bizarre teachers and his high school’s social engineering and make them so funny you want to tell someone. I suppose what I found most appealing was his Jay Leno style of using exaggerated “psycho babble” to explain school days manipulations by psychological experimentation.
Pollick does as well as Bill Cosby, whose spelling class, scary kid stories, and Fat Albert reminiscences remain among our funniest memories. You’ll have to read the book to enjoy the tales of the little Spock-throttled third grade prisoners marching to the demands of their Skinner box school days.
What’s more, you’ll find the coffee essays equally entertaining. Not only coffee, though, but rambling thoughts on Saturday morning cartoons, mattresses and broken thermos bottles will keep you reading one short vignette after another. You’ll find you don’t want the list to end. And might I add his list of defined coffee terms is an absolute hoot!
And then you get to the poetry. You find a different man writing here. Here we find a sensitive, indeed, poignant poet. We read of nostalgia and of the sense of loss. I find links to the earlier humor in an unusual way. A writer who can draw us back to common experiences which make us laugh, can also do as well to make us cry. I read “Bringing the Wendy’s” and knew this poem would live long after we are all gone.
Pollick’s books are available on Amazon.com and Createspace.com."

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in NE Ohio, between the cities of Stow and Kent. Stow was more of a bedroom community for Akron, and Kent was a college town unto itself. My people were actually from a small town outside of Pittsburgh called Kittanning. I believe growing up in the Rust Belt/Midwest influenced my writing style by keeping me focused on the smaller details of everyday life. We experienced the best of times when the factories were still going and the union benefits were flowing, then the worst of times when those same factories shut down. When I first started writing poems and short essays, I started with circumstances and realities familiar to people from that specific area.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing the same time everybody else I know started writing-- the first week of elementary school. Our teachers would routinely hand out basic writing exercises, but I was such a voracious reader at the time I wouldn't (couldn't) stop at just one. I remember writing a very intricate short story in third grade about a crippling snowstorm, and I threw in just about every disaster cliche I could remember from shows like Emergency. I didn't get my story back from the teacher like the other kids did, though. I got a slip of paper with an "A" on it, but not the actual story. I found out later that my teacher submitted it to a student writing contest on my behalf. That started happening a lot, truth be told. I wrote poems in high school and found out later they placed in regional writing contests or were published somewhere like Scholastic magazine. I started taking creative writng much more seriously around the age of 16.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Michael Pollick online

Where to buy in print


Breath of a Child's Undoing (visualized poem)
This piece is part of my Jerusalem Engine Repair Company visualized poetry/microshort story collection. All of these poems and microshort stories can also be found in my Smashwords titles.

Churches At Thessalonica (visualized poem)
Another visualized poem from the Jerusalem Engine Repair Company series. The complete collection can be found at Smashwords under the titles "Makebelieve Ballroom" or "Collected Works (And Dry Goods)".


Silence of the Chipped Chopped Hams
Price: Free! Words: 1,790. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Essay » Literature
Growing up in the small Midwestern town of Stow, Ohio during the 60s and 70s meant eating a lot of mystery meat sandwiches, made from such dubious cold cuts as Dutch loaf, pickle loaf and the dreaded olive loaf. We also has the privilege to enjoy a kind of lunch meat that was literally glued together from better cuts of ham and unceremoniously "chipped chopped" by a special meat slicer.
Woodland Elementary School: Playground Confidential
Price: Free! Words: 1,360. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Essay » Literature
These are my memories of growing up in the Midwest during the 60s and 70s. Woodland Elementary School, unlike other schools in town, actually had a real woodland behind it. Riverview? No view of the river. Fishcreek? No fish, and no creek. Echo Hills? You guessed it, no hills and no echo.
The One With All The Good Stuff (Stowbilly Chronicles, Makebelieve Ballroom, StoryHouse Essays collection)
Price: Free! Words: 29,480. Language: English. Published: September 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
"The One With All The Good Stuff" contains ALL of the award-winning poems, StoryHouse coffee essays and Stowbilly stories written by Michael Pollick. Included are such pieces as "Makebelieve Ballroom", "Your Well-Lit Public Area or Mine?" and "The Stow Fourth of July Parade, Sponsored by Beltone". If you enjoy microshort essays and off-the-wall Midwestern humor, you'll enjoy this collection.
The Revolution WILL Be Televised, After Don Kirschner's Rock Concert
Series: Lost Story House Coffee and Stowbilly Essays, Book 6. Price: Free! Words: 1,380. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
In the days before cable television, most Stowbilly teens would stay up way too late to watch local shows like Hoolihan and Big Chuck. A few of us dared to stay up even longer, and the rewards were even greater. Late night television was rock concerts by the Cousin It Band and monster chiller horror theater. Come with me on a trip back to 70s late night television. Just keep the noise down.
Your Well-Lit Public Area or Mine?
Series: Lost Story House Coffee and Stowbilly Essays, Book 5. Price: Free! Words: 1,540. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Before all of those online dating sites showed up, there were live radio shows that spent four hours a night trying to hook up Caller A with closet serial killer B or drag queen caller C. Nobody did it better than Jim from Winner 100, WNIR.
Poems of Spirit and Truth
Series: Selected Pieces from the Makebelieve Ballroom. Price: Free! Words: 1,180. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual
This collection of pieces by Michael Pollick explores themes of spirituality and religious faith. These works have been previously included in a number of Christian publications around the world, including The Creative Christian and The Rock. More of the author's work can be found in "Makebelieve Ballroom", an ebook published through Smashwords.

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