Hal Sirowitz is an internationally known poet and the author of five books of poetry: Mother Said (Crown/Random House 1996); My Therapist Said (Crown/Random House 1998); Before, During & After (Soft Skull Press 2003); Father Said (Soft Skull Press 2004); and Stray Cat Blues(Backwaters Press 2012) which was awarded the 2013 Nebraska Book Award for Poetry. His work has been translated into thirteen languages including Icelandic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Macedonian. Sirowitz first began to attract attention at the Nuyorican Poets Café where he was a frequent competitor in their Friday night poetry Slam in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s . He was on the 1993 Nuyorican Poetry Slam Team which competed in that year’s National Poetry Slam in San Francisco. Mostly he is known for Mother Said, which sold out after the first printing. He is known as “the people’s poet.” The writer Liz Rosenberg credits Sirowitz for “democratizing” poetry.