The University of Wisconsin Press



Falling Brick Kills Local Man
Mark Kraushaar

The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor

Winner of the 2009 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Marilyn Nelson

Falling Brick Kills Local Man is a daring and inventive collection of narrative poems rich with thoughtful and precise language. Mark Kraushaar writes about what moves him, whether that is the war in Iraq, the notion of synchronicity, the retelling of children’s stories, or a problem of recollection. Often inspired by newspaper stories or witnessed scenes, these poems are a refreshingly honest exploration of our interconnected and multifaceted world.


I mean, the spinning Earth whirls east

and a dog walks wagging by.

I can’t explain.

Inflexible, garrulous, sad, anymore

we’re our own full-time jobs.

Wasn’t Dad the best?

Didn’t light form in the doorways?

Didn’t the mailman come?

Look Jane. Oh, turn and look.

Past the market by the playground,

here we are, so unhip, so well meaning and bizarre.

—excerpt from “Dick and Jane”

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“A repertoire of good stories, and something of the visionary.”—Marilyn Nelson


“Generally triggered by something as deceptively simple as a small newspaper item, an overheard remark, or an incident observed in a bus station, Mark Kraushaar’s meditative/narrative poems illuminate moments of surreal reality by telling little stories of heartbreakingly human intent. I love these poems and am proud to have given several of them their first publication in the pages of The Gettysburg Review.”

—Peter Stitt


Mark Kraushaar is the recipient of Poetry Northwest’s Richard Hugo Award and two Wisconsin Arts Board awards for poetry and has been a finalist for both the Walt Whitman Award and the May Swenson Prize. His poems are widely published and have been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2006; Motion: American Sports Poems; Visiting Walt: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Walt Whitman; and Who Are the Rich and Where Do They Live.

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The cover of Kraushaar's book is black, with an illustration of an ordinary man passing under a building.

April 2009

LC: 2008038483 PS
96 pp. 7 x 10

Paper $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-23084-5
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“Whether speaking for a maker of military uniforms or a prison guard, a wife writing to Walt Whitman about her husband’s failure or Jill of nursery rhyme fame, Mark Kraushaar has the uncanny ability to understand how precious identity and selfhood are to every one of us. One of his characters observes, ‘Long ago, before there was anything / there was nothing, except that every one was always / on their way. . .’ and it reads like a statement of faith in humanity. And though another speaks of the earth, as seen from a plane, as ‘wonderful, ridiculous, and sad,’ you finish this collection happy to know that Mark Kraushaar lives there.”
—Mark Jarman

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Updated March 5, 2010

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