Along with his songs and prose, author and singer-songwriter Nathan Brown has written at least one poem every day for over 20 years now. And from that practice comes this new collection in which each poem deals chronologically with every year of our lives, from the ages of 0 to 100. In one, he tells the story of an 8-year-old girl attempting to cross the border into the U.S. with her older brother. Further in, he works through the mental gyrations of a 39-year-old man and a woman who is 61 falling in love at a reading in a bookstore. As a whole, these poems offer a stark sensitivity to all the stages, transitions, and graduations of life, while also marking a willingness to put an honest, sometimes even cold and hard, magnifying glass up to the struggles of the soul—the Venus and the Mars in us all.
In this collection of co-written poems, former Oklahoma Poet Laureate Nathan Brown and three-time Austin Music Hall-of-Famer Jon Dee Graham call on the grumpy specter of Charles Bukowski to tell their world slant. Every poem's title is a line or phrase from Bukowski's work. Even the title of the book, "Don't Try," is the inscription on the old man's tombstone. Like a collection of profane Psalms, this book brings the concept of "duet" to poetry. And it comes out swinging with the sounds of distorted guitars and smoke-encrusted vocals.
As a follow up to his earlier book, My Sideways Heart, Nathan's newest,
My Salvaged Heart: Story of a Cautious Courtship continues his breadcrumb trail of poems "about love" for people who don't like "love poems."
The book is searing in its honesty about the glories and the pitfalls of relationship, beginning with an early meeting, the ensuing friendship, and eventual courtship of his wife, Ashley.
Naomi Shihab Nye says about it:
"Brave new world! The sizzle of couplings and uncouplings – attraction and romance, ineffable magnetism, mysterious as ever – but doused with a savory dose of Nathan Brown humor, a tilted long-ranging eye that sees the next bend in the road even when he’s standing right here, firmly planted."
To Sing Hallucinated: First Thoughts on Last Words matches contemporary poems with the last or dying words of the famous -- beginning with Socrates and moving up through the centuries to Charles Bukowski and John Denver. With back cover comments from May Swenson Poetry Award winner George Bilgere and Grammy nominated James McMurtry, this latest work from Nathan Brown looks to be his best to date.
Less Is More, More or Less is a new collection of poems from former Oklahoma Poet Laureate, Nathan Brown. The book is an exploration of what can be housed in fewer words, a study in brevity, with no poem longer than a single 5 X 7 page. And the one-word blurb on the back cover, from Austin Music Hall of Famer Jon Dee Graham, drives the point even further to home: "Sneaky."
Karma Crisis: New and Selected Poems, contains a selection of poems from Nathan's first three books, along with a collection of new poems. The titles of the earlier books are: Ashes over the Southwest (2005), Suffer the Little Voices (2005), and Hobson's Choice (2002). The book Suffer the Little Voices was a finalist for the 2006 Oklahoma Book Award.
Nathan's real gift is his ability with short narrative. He is first a storyteller. And so, where much of today's poetry tries to establish an air of superiority, holding the reader at bay, Nathan's work invites us into his well-traveled life and world of stories.
An anthology edited by Nathan Brown, the 2013 - 2014 Poet Laureate of Oklahoma. It includes poems "about" Oklahoma that are written by natives, ex-pats, and visitors alike. These poems are an honest, and sometimes raw, look at the state's past and present by way of three chapters titled: People, Places, and Odds & Ends. Among the poets represented are Pulitzer winners Stephen Dunn and N. Scott Momaday, as well as Naomi Shihab Nye, Joy Harjo, George Bilgere, Ron Padgett, and many others.