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.
Praise for Jericho Brown
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
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.
— NPR, A 2019 Poetry Preview
About Jericho Brown
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for The Tradition, Jericho Brown earned his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. He is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland. His first book, Please (New Issues), 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. Brown is the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.