Jericho Brown

Biography

Jericho Brown’s first book, Please, won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition, which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies.
     

 


Schedule

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Capitol Park Event Center, Meeting Room
Discussion
A Conversation with Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown with  Mona Lisa Saloy

Noon to 12:45 p.m.
Cavalier House Booksellers Tent
Book Signing


The Tradition

WINNER OF THE 2020 PULITZER PRIZE FOR POETRY

Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award

"100 Notable Books of the Year," The New York Times Book Review

One Book, One Philadelphia Citywide Reading Program Selection, 2021

"By some literary magic—no, it's precision, and honesty—Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes."—Craig Morgan Teicher, “'I Reject Walls': A 2019 Poetry Preview” for NPR

“A relentless dismantling of identity, a difficult jewel of a poem.“—Rita Dove, in her introduction to Jericho Brown’s “Dark” (featured in the New York Times Magazine in January 2019)

“Winner of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Brown's hard-won lyricism finds fire (and idyll) in the intersection of politics and love for queer Black men.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

Named a Lit Hub “Most Anticipated Book of 2019”

One of Buzzfeed’s “66 Books Coming in 2019 You’ll Want to Keep Your Eyes On”

The Rumpus poetry pick for “What to Read When 2019 is Just Around the Corner”

One of BookRiot’s “50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019”

Jericho Brown’s daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.


The New Testament

Honored as a "Best Book of 2014" by Library Journal

Honored as a "Standout Book of 2014" by American Poet magazine

Winnner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry

Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, 2015

NPR.org writes: “In his second collection, The New Testament, Brown treats disease and love and lust between men, with a gentle touch, returning again and again to the stories of the Bible, which confirm or dispute his vision of real life. 'Every last word is contagious,' he writes, awake to all the implications of that phrase. There is plenty of guilt—survivor’s guilt, sinner’s guilt—and ever-present death, but also the joy of survival and sin. And not everyone has the chutzpah to rewrite The Good Book.”

“Brown’s is a necessary art in an era that has seen lingering racial conflict and growing acceptance of gays in America, as well as extreme intolerance and homophobia in many countries overseas. These poems work because while they emanate from an intimately personal place, social concerns loom as large as the barber in Bonnat’s painting. To merge the private with the public so seamlessly is an enviable feat.” —The Antioch Review

"Erotic and grief-stricken, ministerial and playful, Brown offers his reader a journey unlike any other in contemporary poetry."—Rain Taxi

"To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius."—Claudia Rankine

In the world of Jericho Brown's second book, disease runs through the body, violence runs through the neighborhood, memories run through the mind, trauma runs through generations. Almost eerily quiet in even the bluntest of poems, Brown gives us the ache of a throat that has yet to say the hardest thing—and the truth is coming on fast.

Fairy Tale

Say the shame I see inching like steam
Along the streets will never seep
Beneath the doors of this bedroom,
And if it does, if we dare to breathe,
Tell me that though the world ends us,
Lover, it cannot end our love
Of narrative. Don’t you have a story
For me?—like the one you tell
With fingers over my lips to keep me
From sighing when—before the queen
Is kidnapped—the prince bows
To the enemy, handing over the horn
Of his favorite unicorn like those men
Brought, bought, and whipped until
They accepted their masters’ names.


Please: Poems

Please explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, Please is the album playing in the background of the history and culture that surround African American/male identity and sexuality. Just as radio favorites like Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Pink Floyd characterize loss, loneliness, addiction, and denial with their voices, these poems’ chorus of speakers transform moments of intimacy and humor into spontaneous music. In Please, Jericho Brown sings the influence soul culture has on American life with the accuracy of the blues.

Volunteer

Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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