Poet Laureate Fleda Brown Returns to Her Northern Michigan Roots

Apologies to Delaware, but we have Fleda Brown. Two years ago, the award-winning poet and former Delaware poet laureate (2001-2007) of the “small wonder state” moved to Traverse City with her husband, Jerry Beasley, to be closer to their cottage in Central Lake—where Brown’s family has summered since 1918.

Fleda Brown won the Felix Pollak Prize for her newest collection of poems, Reunion (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). She also won a 2009 Pushcart Prize for her poem, "The Kayak and the Eiffel Tower" and her poem "Roofers" is included in Best American Poetry, 2009 (Scribner) In addition, Brown has a book of memoir essays, Driving With Dvorak, appearing next spring from the University of Nebraska Press. She has won the Philip Levine Prize, the Verna Emery Prize, a Center for Advanced Study Fellowship, and the Great Lakes New Writers’ Award, and her work has been nominated for the National Poetry Series, the Pulitzer Prize, and a USA Artists Fellowship. Brown is a retired English professor from the University of Delaware.

Through it all, Northern Michigan was woven into Brown’s life and her work. “This truly is the place where my imagination works best,” says Brown. “When I was in Delaware I was always writing about here.”

Watch for an upcoming book of Brown’s Michigan poetry, and for her exhibit with artist William Allen, “A Conversation Between Artists in Two Forms,” at the Dennos Museum scheduled to open in April of 2010.

 Enjoy eight remarkable poems by Fleda Brown.

Article Comments