1997, 80 pages
These are letters written as prose poems by a young poet to a recent ancestor. The writing draws on personal ancestral history and the music of the English language. An old voice speaks with oracular authority, passing on insights that are not to be tampered with. The "other real place" in Laynie Browne's writing promises to deliver a young woman's past into a more complete future.
Laynie Browne is the author of thirteen collections of poems and three novels. Her most recent collections of poems include You Envelop Me (Omnidawn, 2017), P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel, 2015), and Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press, 2015). Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship; a National Poetry Series Award for The Scented Fox (2007), selected by Alice Notley; a Contemporary Poetry Series Award for Drawing of a Swan Before Memory (2005); and residencies at The MacDowell Colony. Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese, and Catalan. Her writing has appeared in many anthologies including Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (second edition, 2013), Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology (Trinity University Press, 2013), Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006), and The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street, 2008). Her critical writing has appeared in journals including Jacket2, Aufgabe , Open Letter, and Talisman. She co-edited I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press, 2012) and is currently editing an anthology of original essays on the poet’s novel. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College.