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The Tradition


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The powerful second poetry collection published in the UK from award-winning American poet Jericho Brown.

About the Author

Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before earning his PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. His first book, Please, won the American Book Award. The New Testament was winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, 2015. He teaches at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius. -- Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen: An American Lyric
Some folks write poems, Jericho Brown writes gospel. -- Danez Smith, author of Don't Call Us Dead
Brown's poems are flirtatious, teasing us with moments of sexual and emotional vulnerability . . . In Brown's poems, the body at risk - the infected body, the abused body, the black body, the body in eros - is most vulnerable to the cruelty of the world. But even in their most searing moments, these poems are resilient out of necessity, faithful to their account of survival, when survival is the hardest task of all. * New York Times *
His lyrics are memorable, muscular, majestic . . . Brown's poems are living on the page. -- Ilya Kaminsky
These astounding poems by Jericho Brown don't merely hold a lens up to the world and watch from a safe distance; they run or roll or stomp their way into what matters?loss, desire, rage, becoming?and stay there until something necessary begins to make sense. Like the music that runs through this collection, they get inside of you and make something there ache. It's a feeling that doesn't quite go away?and you won't want it to. This is one of the most luminous and courageous voices I have read in a long, long time. -- U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith
Exquisite, incisive, as full of the spirit as the soil, the breath and the body, Jericho Brown's newest collection The Tradition is today's essential poetry. -- John Keene, author of Counternarratives
In his latest collection, award-winning poet Jericho Brown dissects how hate is experienced in the U.S. Brown confronts the nation's painful history in poems that tackle racism and other forms of discrimination, connecting the country's past with the aspects of ugliness that still plague the present. The Tradition raises imperative questions about the definition of safety and the true meaning of freedom. * Time *
Global and deeply personal at once, and vibrating off the page * Lit Hub *
His latest book addresses themes of evil, masculinity, race and trauma with striking clarity. * New Statesman *
Searing . . . [Brown] challenges stereotypes about blackness, desire and queerness - and finds moments of joy. The collection is compelling and forceful because it wonderfully balances the dark demands of memory and an indomitable strength. As the poem "Duplex" notes: "None of the beaten end up how we began./ A poem is a gesture toward home." * Wall Street Journal *

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