"I always tell people I was born and raised in Shreveport, but I grew up in New Orleans." In four poems from his collection Please and an interview with Natasha Trethewey, Jericho Brown delves into double-edged father-son relationships, acquiring an education, historical racism, the exigencies of escape, and being a gay black man in the US South.
"Naming Each Place" is part of the Poets in Place series, a Research Collaboration in the Humanities initiative funded through Emory University’s Presidential Woodruff Fund, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. Series producers are Natasha Trethewey and Allen Tullos.
Interview with Natasha Trethewey
In this interview, conducted on September 5, 2009, during the Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival, Jericho Brown talks with Natasha Trethewey about learning to love his hometown, gay black identity, the visibility of southern poets, and autobiography in poetry.
Part 2: Trethewey and Brown discuss the place of region in writing and the work of other black writers
Part 3: Trethewey and Brown discuss writing against the New Critics
Part 4: Trethewey and Brown discuss working and hanging out in New Orleans and more
Part 5: Brown discusses negotiating a gay, black, southern, identity and the space created by renaming himself
Part 6: Trethewey and Brown discuss the ethics of writing about living people and life experiences and poetry as enduring art
About Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown's first book, Please, was published by New Issues in Poetry and Prose in 2008. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including The Iowa Review, Oxford American, and New England Review, and his honors include fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland. Brown is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of San Diego.
Brown, Jericho. Please. Kalamazoo, MI: New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2008.
AGNI Online. Text of "Rick."
Finney, Nikky (ed). The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. A Cave Canem Anthology. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008.
Hughes, Langston. "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." The Nation, June 23, 1926.
Immunization Against Invisibility. "IAI Discusses Poetry with Jericho Brown," 18 January 2009. http://immunizationagainstinvisibility.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-i-discusses-poetry-with-jericho-brown.html.
Jericho Brown's author website
New England Review. Text of "Prayer of the Backhanded."
Post Road Magazine. Text of "Track 1: Lush Life."