The BKBF Interview: Jericho Brown


The BKBF Interview with Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition.


Where is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere in my house. I’ve been on the road with my new book, so most of the reading I’ve done lately has been on planes and trains. None of it feels like the learning I experience on my own couch.

What is your favorite book to give an adult or a child?
There’s something about her uses of colors to enliven a scene that has me consistently recommend Adelia Prado’s The Alphabet in the Park again and again over the years.

What books are currently piled in your “To Be Read” stack … and where can the stack be found in your home?
I mostly organize by the author, start at the beginning and read all the way to the end. I’m in the midst of reading all of Samuel Beckett right now.

What book do you return to most often, whether passages or whole?
The Bible.

If you had the power to create your own fantasy BKBF panel – any writer or artist, dead or alive – who would you love to see discussing books?
How many people make a panel? I’d do Frederick Douglass, Clarice Lispector, and Gwendolyn Brooks. But obviously, this is an unfair question.


Jericho Brown is the author of Please (2008) and The New Testament (2014). His first book won the American Book Award while the later 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). 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. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies, and countless others. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.


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