Mississippi Poet 


Scott Bailey


Scott Bailey is the author of Thus Spake Gigolo published by NYQ Books. He grew up in rural Mississippi, in a family of carpenters, farmers, and preachers. His poems have appeared in "580 Split," "Epiphany," "Exquisite Corpse," "Harpur Palate," "Jabberwock Review," "Meridian," "New York Quarterly," "Sand Hills," "Subtropics," "The Journal," "The Ocean State Review," "The Southeast Review," and "Verse Daily," among others. His degrees in English, with a focus on creative writing, include a B.A., Summa Cum Laude, and an M.A. from The University of Southern Mississippi, an M.F.A. from New York University, and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. A former writer-in-residence for the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Valparaiso Foundation in Spain, Bailey has taught writing courses at Brown University, Florida State University, New York University, Tougaloo College, and elsewhere. He has also worked with arts-based coalition programs in Mississippi, where he conducted workshops at The Forrest County Juvenile Detention Center and The Harrison County Adult Correctional Facility, and in New York, where he conducted workshops at The Ronald McDonald House and St. Mary's Hospital for Kids. He lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where he is an editor for Tulane University School of Medicine. 









Thus Spake Gigolo charts the course of a speaker coming-of-age in rural South Mississippi, a world that is sublime and terrifying, but these poems are not limited to one landscape, region, or approach. If this collection has a hero, it is Gigolo who confesses his hand-bitten tale of survival, navigating the difficulties of his inevitable frail natures, holding his fist up to what he dreams and lives for. He speaks of the wounds that must be spoken of. He speaks of the correspondence of nature, the marvels of nature. He perseveres adversity, he celebrates adversity, he portrays a speaker's evolution—whole yet broken, dying yet loving—alive at its end. 





The penniless spawn of hell-fire spewing evangelicals, Gigolo hotfoots it to the one city where a young man can get paid as long as he's willing to do anything: New Orleans. A Dante in hot pants and platform heels, Gigolo is at his most moving when he describes the world he came from, one of farm life, jail time, and church, church, church, all in the company of characters so odd that Flannery O'Connor would have shaken her head and said, "They're too weird for me." Like cherry bombs, these poems startle, illuminate, and make you cackle with delight as you say, "Awright! Fire up another!"


David Kirby




Few poets have signaled, from the inside of their debasement, the commerce of the body for sale, leaving out nothing, not even the luciferic joy at the bottom of the well. The chains of Scott Bailey's Gigolo have dragged themselves over the ruined landscape of the city, leaving in their wake the words in this book. 



Andrei Codrescu

















Subtropics: Scott Bailey interviewed by Sarah Redzinski 



 John King (The Drunken Odyssey) interviews the Poet Scott Bailey (Episode 147). 














Copyright 2014 Scott Bailey. All rights reserved.

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