Al Young


Again and again Jack Foley shoots to illumine and to illuminate. Long opposed to what Ezra Pound calls “the method of infamy”—that is, to lay out two lies, then lay odds on which is the truth—Foley takes delight in looking deeply into a subject. He loves to feel out the fine points, draw meaningful comparisons, then serve up the heartfelt results of his searches to public scrutiny.

Jack Foley’s essays reflect the spirit of such a dialectic. In an era when the forms of stand-up, performance, monologue, blog, personal essay, op-ed and commentary have come to overwhelm public discourse, the power of a thoughtfully penned essay persists. (On Visions and Affiliations:) A lasting contribution. With its deep and caring perspective, Jack Foley’s two-volume opus projects a passionate message about the poetry of our state.

               —Al Young, California Poet Laureate (2005-2008)