Derrick Harriell has mined the human history of lives perpetually in fight and woven a gutbucket stench of ghetto wail and back alley holler survival. The work of these four rounds, the transparent employment of voice and source, working the head, body, groin and knees, is a flurry of converging dialogues, real and cleverly imagined, in conversation with self, God, Uncle Sam, other Black pugilists and the women who adorn these boxers as trinket and stain. Ropes confirms Derrick Harriell is among the finest young poets in the country.
–Quraysh Ali Lansana, author of mystic turf
How easy it is for Harriell to write in a spoken vernacular, a voice that sounds at once familiar and specific, and not particularly spare.
- Sarah Busse (Verse Wisconsin)
Derrick Harriell's blues poetry is up on that special shelf of greatness! Cotton is Mr. Harriell's first book of poetry. It's really great to know that this young poet's work is now shining among the stars; and that there's much, much more to come. DAMN, ARE WE LUCKY!!! I wish the world could read his book--it might learn something new about itself.
-Denis Gray (Author of Lucky, a novel)