By Fleda Brown
“[This is] a hybrid book, a combination of poetry and prose. It proves that at high levels of composition there is little distinction between the two. A superb accomplishment.”
Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and distinguished professor emeritus of creative writing at Stockton University
“Fleda Brown has such a wide ranging intelligence, such a large and quirky variety of subjects, and such facility with language that you come away from her poems amazed at the emotional impact under the entertaining and colloquial surfaces.”
“Cast in an impressive variety of forms, Brown manages her signature, magical metamorphoses, poetry skying at its best, yet, somehow, never leaving the ground it rises from.”
“To read these poems is to look through a newly washed window; the world is strangely bright and, at the same time, frighteningly familiar. This is a difficult effect to achieve—one that only succeeds when it is not an effect, but something effortless. In [Brown’s] hands, effort is invisible.”
Judith Kitchen, review of Brown's 1993 book, Do Not Peel the Birches, in the Georgia Review (Fall 1994)
A keenly observant collection of poems on disaster, aging, and apocalypse.
Golda Meir once said, “Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there’s nothing you can do.” The poems in Fleda Brown’s brave collection, her thirteenth, take readers on a journey through the fury of this storm. There are plenty of tragedies to weather here, both personal and universal: the death of a father, a child’s terminal cancer, the extinction of bees, and environmental degradation.
Brown’s poems are wise, honest, and deeply observant meditations on contemporary science, physics, family, politics, and aging. With tributes to visionary artists, including Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, and Grandma Moses, as well as to life’s terrors, sadnesses, and joys, these works are beautiful dispatches from a renowned poet who sees the shadows lengthening and imagines what they might look like from the other side.
Fleda Brown has won the Felix Pollak Prize, a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writers Award, and she has twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, where she taught for twenty-seven years. She was poet laureate of Delaware 2001–7. She now lives with her husband, Jerry Beasley, in Traverse City, Michigan. More info →
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