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My Wobbly Bicycle: Meditations on Cancer 

Mission Point Press, Sep 15, 2016

In this book full of pain and joy and raw honesty, Fleda Brown, poet and former poet laureate of Delaware, gives us a real-time account of her cancer diagnosis, chemo and radiation, from the doctor’s phone call to the one-year, all-clear pronouncement.

Now everything’s shifted. We pretend there’s some solidity, some predictability. But being alive is more like riding a bicycle, balancing on two thin tires. Eventually we’ll fall one way or the other, but for the moment, we’re upright. It’s exciting, sometimes frightening.

Brown’s week to week accounts lead to the realization that one needs to face a wall-sometimes the wall of possible death-to see clearly. With great generosity, she allows the reader to come along through the darkness and the light.

Reading a poem by Brown is a lesson in how to read one’s life, how each small thing, each seemingly casual detail, is in fact connected to perceptions and understandings of profound significance that we can all divine if only we calm our vision enough to fully experience the perishing present. -World Literature Today



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No Need of Sympathy

BOA Editions, 2013

“If you agree with me that a poem can be as bountiful as a rich Victorian narrative; and as wise—that is, confusedly, shoulder-shruggingly wise—as the scrolls of the ancient sages; and can elegize, but still sparkle; and can sparkle, while still admitting the seam of darkness that worms its way through things; and can demonstrate how politics and domesticity share a common border; and can understand how classical culture and popular culture are equally sustaining pools; and can make a recipe of mordancy and tenderness; and might have the best footnote in history; and can toss off, almost casually, the kinds of lines that—even divorced from context—might be swung overhead like parade batons, like circus torches, like tribal bull-roarers . . . then you’ll want to join me here in the “Wow, I Like No Need of Sympathy Club.” Your membership fee is the same as your membership privileges: this book.”    –Albert Goldbarth



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Growing Old in Poetry

Autumn House Press 2013

Sydney Lea and Fleda Brown, present and past poets laureates of their states and both nationally recognized writers who’ve given their lives to their art, have conspired to write an unusual book of essays. They’ve picked a wide variety of topics and headed out as they respectively wished with each, covering a lot of territory, both artistic and memoiristic. Some of the pieces, like “Wild  Animals,” are downright silly; some, like “Sex, “Music,” and “Food,” are provocative; some, like “Clothes,” “Sports,” and “Houses,” appear ordinary but are ultimately revealing. The last pair of essays fall under the rubric, “Becoming a Poet,” but actually, the whole collection is about Syd and Fleda as people-poets. Poet-people. Poetry never completely goes off-stage in this wide-ranging and exciting conversation between the two



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Driving With Dvořák

University of Nebraska Press 2010

All our lives are made of moments, both simple and sublime, all of which in some way partake of the cultural moment. Fleda Brown is that rare writer who, in narrating the incidents and observations of her life, turns her story, by wit and insight and a poet’s gift, into something more. Driving With Dvořák is an unconventional memoir. A series of lyrical essays about life in a maddeningly complex family during the even more maddeningly complex fifties and sixties, it adds up to one woman’s story while simultaneously reflecting the story of her times.  Read More


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Loon Cry

The Watershed Center 2010

A selection of poems from Fishing With BloodDo Not Peel the BirchesBreathing In, Breathing Out; andReunion, as well as some new poems, all set in northern Michigan, with cover and interior art by Glenn Wolff. This book supports the work of The Watershed Center, whose main mission is to protect Grand Traverse Bay and its entire 1,000-square-mile watershed, which includes the Antrim County Chain of Lakes. All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the Watershed Center.  Read More



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2007 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry,selected by Linda Gregerson.

University of Wisconsin Press 2007 The poems in Reunion insistently turn back toward sources: toward home and the idea of home, toward the body, and toward objects that return us to ourselves. They always surprise, moving from quantum mechanics, wildflowers, and a Bobcat driver to a woman killed by a flying deer, magma becoming rock, and an invasion of flying ants. Fleda Brown deftly unites daily frustrations and suffering with profound psychological, physical, and cosmic questions.  Read More



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The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives

Carnegie-Mellon University Press 2004

“What a remarkable collection! Fleda Brown has turned obsession into a series of finely wrought evocations of a period. She knows her music, and she knows that her early stirrings in relation to it were emblematic of a nation’s. There’s consistently high quality of phrasing in this book, and an astute framing of effects. Which is to say Fleda Brown has been able to raise popular culture into art like few others before her.”

 — Stephen Dunn  Read More



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Breathing In Breathing Out

Anhinga Press 2002

“Fleda Brown has such a wide ranging intelligence, such a large and quirky variety of subjects, and such facility with language that you come away from her poems amazed at the emotional impact under the entertaining and colloquial surfaces. This is a fine and original book.”  —Linda Pastan Read More




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Devil’s Child

Carnegie-Mellon University Press 1998

“This dark, ambitious narrative full of voices, echoes and whispers of anguish is deftly plotted and carefully crafted. Here is a challenging poetry of action and remembrance and the sheer, downright, daily human grotesque. But it is also a poetic sequence that does something altogether more difficult: it holds our interest and its own lyric balance at one and the same time. It compels the sort of music from pain which is hard to forget.”  —Eavan Bolan




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Do Not Peel The Birches

Purdue University Press 1993

“The poems in Fleda Brown Jackson’s second book . . . exhibit the kind of present-tense clarity one associates with Elizabeth Bishop . . . . To read these poems is to look through a newly washed window; the world is strangely bright and, at the same time, frighteningly familiar. This is a difficult effect to achieve—one that only succeeds when it is not an effect, but something effortless. In Jackson’s hands, effort is invisible.”   —The Georgia Review




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Fishing With Blood

Purdue University Press 1988

“A splendid collection of poems with the special merit of being both intensely artful and equally interesting. No one to my knowledge has written better about Georgia O’Keeffe, and many have tried. Fleda Brown Jackson has a good wit, a sharp eye, and a tough character.”   —Dave Smith



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