The Blue Mountain Review Issue 14

Page 127

Literary Interviews

Jericho Brown interview by Casanova Green My first memory of meeting Jericho Brown is peach cobbler. Actually, the lack of peach cobbler at a restaurant. As I watched him tell stories to the people we were with, I noticed he was a man of great joy and great depth. He was the center of the universe and we all were pulled in by his charm, wisdom, and experiences. He paused for a moment and asked the waiter, “Do you have peach cobbler?” “I’m sorry, sir,” the waiter said. “We do not.” He laughed and responded, “How are you going to be a restaurant in Georgia and not have peach cobbler?” We all laughed it off and he kept telling us stories. I didn’t say much at that dinner nor on the car ride to the restaurant and back to our venue. I began to feel a deep comfort with him though. Both of us have names that are the merging of awesomeness and a color, we are aware of ourselves and how we fit in the world, and that our experiences influence our word. After hearing him read his work and spend over two hours speaking with a small group, I knew that I was seated with one of the great modern voices of poetry. Jericho Brown is a poet, professor, and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University. Among his many accolades, he has received fellowships from Harvard and the Guggenheim Foundation, won the American Book Award for his first book Please and the AnisfieldWolf Book Award for his second book The New Testament, and his poems have appeared in a variety of publications including The New York Times, TIME, and The New Republic. He has released a new collection of poetry entitled The Tradition. His poetry is a visceral journey of authenticity which makes you think, feel, and engage with every word he writes. Issue 14 | Blue Mountain Review | 120