Jericho Brown

Jericho Brown grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and earned his BA from Dillard University in 1998. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. He also earned a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston.

Brown is the author of The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry; The New Testament (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), which received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, in addition to being named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal; and Please (New Issues, 2008), which received the 2009 American Book Award. His work has also been included in Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. 

Of Brown’s work, Ilya Kaminsky writes,

His lyrics are memorable, muscular, majestic. His voice in these lines is alive—something that is quite rare in his generation of very bookish and very ironic poetics. Brown’s poems are living on the page, and they give the reader that much: a sense of having been alive fully.

Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Award and has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. In 2022, he received the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement.

Brown worked as a speechwriter for the mayor of New Orleans before earning his doctorate, in addition to having served as poetry editor of The Believer. He has taught at the University of Houston, San Diego State University, and the University of San Diego, as well as at numerous conferences and workshops. Brown is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta and the director of its creative writing program. In January 2024, Brown was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.