The Tradition by Jericho Brown
Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Jericho Brown's The Tradition explores cultural threats on black bodies, resistance, and the interplay of desire and privilege in a dangerous era.
Brown’s daring book 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—is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.Published by Copper Canyon Press, 2019, paperback, 110 pages, 9 x 6 inches.