In Conversation with Pulitzer Prize Winner Jericho Brown

The Arkansas Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library presents a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Jericho Brown, including Jo McDougall, Poet Laureate of Arkansas.

Event Information
  • Date: February 4, 2021, 7:00 pm CST
  • Location: Zoom
  • Participants must register online. Registered participants will be sent a Zoom link the day before the program. The program will also be livestreamed on YouTube.
  • Free of charge.

The Tradition

“A collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.” – Pulitzer Prize Judges Citation

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.

About Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

About Jo McDougall

Jo McDougall has been Poet Laureate of Arkansas since her appointment in 2018 by Governor Asa Hutchinson. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and has published seven collections of poetry and a memoir. She has won many awards including a Pushcart Prize (2020), The Arkansas Porter Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry (2019), and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She was inducted into the Arkansas Writers’ Hall of Fame in 2006. With a proclamation from Governor Hutchinson in 2020, she established the first Arkansas Youth Poetry Day, to be celebrated annually.