I don't have words for how amazing this collection of poetry is, except to say that every word in it is a revelation. I read these poems again and again, and the best thing I can say is that it refreshed my heart and made me feel less alone, which is maybe the most important thing we can ask language to do. Recommended By Tim B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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 — testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while revelling in a celebration of contradiction.
“Brown’s subtleties in the narrative create great irony, feel refined. We are led to believe the renewed expression of the speaker’s homosexuality is something his father could never truly understand. Brown gives us a space for all emotional selves to come together and embrace commonality of experience.” David Crews
"Erotic and grief-stricken, ministerial and playful, Brown offers his reader a journey unlike any other in contemporary poetry." Rain Taxi Review of Books
"To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius." Claudia Rankine
About the Author
Jericho Brown is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of a Whiting Award. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection is The Tradition (Copper Canyon, 2019) — winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. His poems have appeared in Bennington Review, BuzzFeed, Fence, jubilat, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.