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The Tradition
Jericho Brown


Beauty abounds in Jericho Brown’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, despite and inside of the evil that pollutes the everyday. A National Book Award finalist, The Tradition questions why and how we’ve become accustomed to terror: in the bedroom, the classroom, the workplace, and the movie theater. From mass shootings to rape to the murder of unarmed people by police, Brown interrupts complacency by locating each emergency in the garden of the body, where living things grow and wither—or survive. In the urgency born of real danger, Brown’s work is at its most innovative. His invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is an all-out exhibition of formal skill, and his lyrics move through elegy and memory with a breathless cadence. Jericho Brown is a poet of eros: here he wields this power as never before, touching the very heart of our cultural crisis.


Jericho Brown is an American poet and writer. Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Brown has worked as an educator at institutions such as the University of Houston, the University of San Diego, and Emory University.


“A collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.”  -- Pulitzer Prize Committee, 2020

“By some literary magic―no, it’s precision, and honesty―Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes.” -- Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR

“A relentless dismantling of identity, a difficult jewel of a poem.” -- Rita Dove, The New York Times Magazine

“This is a truly wonderful book. These emotions and history Jericho shares are much needed in these times. A truly talented young poet.” -- Nikki Giovanni

“Winner of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Brown’s hard-won lyricism finds fire (and idyll) in the intersection of politics and love for queer Black men.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine

“The poems of The Tradition, Brown’s third collection, are at turns tender and vulnerable, severe and riveting.” -- Los Angeles Review of Books

“Pure artistry imbues nearly every line of this unsparing yet subtly delicate third collection from the masterly Brown, fusing the personal, political, erotic, and philosophical.” -- Library Journal, “Best Poetry 2019” 

“Jericho Brown’s The Tradition pays off on the first page (which opens with “Ganymede,” in which he reimagines the Greek myth: “I mean, don’t you want God / to want you?”) and just keeps on giving… As I read, I became a Jericho Brown fan for life. Writing is good words in good order; poetry is the best words in the best order. Brown’s words are in the best order possible.” -- Vox

[H]  Copper Canyon Books  /  February 04, 2020

0.6" H x 9.1" L x 6.2" W (0.7 lbs) 96 pages

[P]  Copper Canyon Books  /  April 02, 2019

0.5" H x 8.8" L x 5.9" W (0.35 lbs) 110 pages