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Student Poetry Winner Thanks BMCC

July 10, 2008

BMCC’s Writing and Literature Department has honored student Amanda Pollock with an English Department Faculty Award. In their Fourth Annual Writing Awards contest, Pollock received recognition for her poem, Potter’s field…of Hymn and him, a body of work that stemmed from an Honor’s Project she worked on in her Modern Poetry Class at BMCC.

“I first heard about the writing awards through my Professors Joyce Zonana and Jim Tolan in the English Lit department,” says Pollock. “They were the two people who encouraged me to submit my work.” She also credits BMCC professor Bernardo Pace for his encouragement.

According to Pollock, her poem reflects "a true woman’s voice."

“I’m a woman, I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I’m an American, and I want to relay a truthful experience about what I feel, and how I interpret what’s going on in my life,” says Pollock. “Potter’s Field has a little of that in it. It’s a little piece of fiction. Or is it? It COULD be true.”

“Shocked” to Win Poetry Award

Pollock’s literary talent caught the attention of Smith College in Northampton, Mass, and the school awarded her the Ada Comstock Scholarship. According to the Smith College Web site, Ada Comstock Scholars are,“a remarkable and diverse group of women.” Pollock plans to focus on, and pursue, her literary education and writing while at Smith.

Although her poetry impressed the judges of this year’s Fourth Annual English Department Faculty Awards, Pollock says, “I was absolutely shocked, I didn’t expect to win. To win first place was an honor.” Although Pollock writes songs, until this literary contest, she had never received a writing award before.

Next Stop: Smith

Pollock says she will greatly miss BMCC and New York as she leaves for Smith College, and thanks BMCC for helping her find her true calling—she actually first started out in the BMCC nursing program. However, she says something was missing from her life when she was working as a nurse—creativity.

“Professor Jim Tolan told me, ‘You’re a writer,’" recalls Pollock. “I wanted to come back and finish this degree.”

So, she switched her academic focus from nursing to writing, which opened the doors for her to receive the scholarship to Smith. “It’s an incredible opportunity and I really accredit BMCC and the English department, specifically, for helping me along the way,” says Pollock.

Read Amanda Pollock's Award-Winning poem below:

Potter’s field... of Hymn and him


Cryptic, weathered and of spirit, where I see smoke and mirrors, he sees a beach of blue rabs or the claustrophobic halls of a pyramid.

He finds his religion everywhere.

When he entered me, he filled me full of little white birds feathers and singing, so much so, the whole world was lost in the beating of tiny wings.

I could smell the sweet and exciting wind that was him, long before I saw his lacquered eyes of blue and sky. I wandered in his periphery for years I suppose, and he, of great arms and sexed up sinewy languor, I knew I would love him, would have to have him.

We are now on the other side of the sun, our beloved star Shemesh, and we found a way to be, I suppose but truer than this and what of it matters, tomorrow loves nothing.

When you see a man go mad, a man you might very well love, you might want to call it religious. You might pretend it is you who are mad. You might not see at all how such charm and veracity can turn out to be schizophrenia.

A sad way to end a poem, more like a sad letter from Baltimore.



Some ask for a kind word. For others, it’s the ego’s honorable mention, place to stand and die.

Born without influence or grace, you are still charming and some will see you for what you are. Oh, but it is in those moments, you wish those eyes were plucked out, tried and buried. Who needs to see that kind of shame?

Golden beauty, sweet smile of deliverance.
Your cane-coated arms, your speckled cheeks. While I am the paper doll, you are the Matchbox car.

You will last but get lost and I will tatter and blow away. I just know it.

“They bury them in a line and standing upright, all in a row. The nameless and unknowable take their place in line and go. So I tell’em, every time, I say,“Go be with Jesus,” Mr. Dedinpane said, as he tied the orange tape flag to the plywood marker.


While I sit here and reminisce on our blurry childhood romance, there is a special on about potter’s field and I want to go there.
I think I know someone who ended up there.
Jay, the Indian Bar Back of Mars, who had a heart attack and his kittens, who got hungry after his demise, ate him a little bit. His boss, Hank, said he was gonna pay for his funeral but we heard later the word, potter’s field. No loyalty among thieves and that IS true.


I slowly move back to you, embarrassed for having such a mind like mine, but you, all golden and what I think love is, let’s meet next time in the wheat field, in July, age ten. I’ll bring the story about potter’s field and you can hold my hand.

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