Highway or Belief

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J. Scott Brownlee, 2014

The winner of the 2013 Button Poetry Prize.


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J. Scott Brownlee’s Highway or Belief, the winner of the 2013 Button Poetry Prize.


“The violence of men, the delicacy of their broken bodies, the religiosity of the town that raised them: all of these influence Highway or Belief, which documents an America we rarely see.  In J. Scott Brownlee’s Llano, Aron Anderson is the king of baseball and meth.  High school football heroes become PTSD-affected war vets.  The rural dead sing from the hollow flutes their bones leave in the dust.  These are poems whose language begins with the body and the land.  For Brownlee, the two are inseparable.”

                                                      -Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of Men


J. Scott Brownlee was born and raised in Llano, Texas. His poetry appears in The Kenyon Review, Narrative, Beloit Poetry Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, RATTLE, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. He is a founding member of The Localists, a literary collective that emphasizes place-based writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working-class, both in the United States and abroad. A former Writers in the Public Schools Fellow at NYU, he currently lives in Brooklyn.


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Additional information

Weight 3.7 oz

Paperback (Out of Print), E-book