Brian Russell has an MFA from the University of Houston, where he served as poetry editor for Gulf Coast. His poems have appeared in Bat City Review, The Cincinnati Review, Epoch, Mid-American Review, and Verse Daily. He lives in Chicago.
"The writing is nuanced, full of feeling. . . . Do we read, [Russell] is asking, to be reassured, or to be drawn into an unknown territory, where we are what we imagine? The Year of What Now leaves it up to us." --Los Angeles Times "Dynamically poignant. . . . [Russell's] poetry endeavors to understand the world in complicated and sophisticated ways." --Huffington Post "Personal, but never cloying, Russell's poems use anecdotes and crisp line breaks to craft a unified collection that doesn't feel limited in scope." --Los Angeles Review "[M]y heart beat fast with the first poem and through to the last. . . . Although we know that trillions of years from now the stars will burn out, nothing at this time seems more important than Brian Russell's take on death." --Washington Independent Review of Books "This book seems to me to represent a way forward for other young poets in its wide engagement with the world, in its unabashed embrace of the personal, and its equally galvanizing skepticism about the limits of subjective speech. At its deepest level, it embodies the desire to establish true sequences of pain from the cellular level to the most abstract operations of culture, technology, and possible worlds of the spirit." --Tom Sleigh, Bakeless Prize judge