Reading English, Reading Experience

Read and listen to Jericho Brown · Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize por poetry

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Born Nelson Demery III, Brown, 44, writes extensively about sexual identity, racial injustice, God and the intersection of love and violence.

Duplex by Jericho Brown

A poem is a gesture toward home.
It makes dark demands I call my own.

Memory makes demands darker than my own:
My last love drove a burgundy car.

My first love drove a burgundy car.
He was fast and awful, tall as my father.

Steadfast and awful, my tall father
Hit hard as a hailstorm. He’d leave marks.

Light rain hits easy but leaves its own mark
Like the sound of a mother weeping again.

Like the sound of my mother weeping again,
No sound beating ends where it began.

None of the beaten end up how we began.
A poem is a gesture toward home.

From The Tradition. Copyright © 2019 by Jericho Brown. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Jericho Brown has recently been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Listen to his recitation here:


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