Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Kurt Brown was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up on Long Island and in Connecticut where he attended the University of Connecticut.  He spent many years in Aspen, Colorado where he founded the Aspen Writers' Conference and edited the Aspen Anthology.  His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including Ontario Review, Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, and Southern Poetry Review.  He lives with his wife, Laure-Anne Bosselaar, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
     Kurt has edited several anthologies (published by Milkweed Editions.)  Click on the following links to read more about them:

Drive, They Said: Poems about Americans and Their Cars
Verse and Universe: Poems about Science and Mathematics
Night Out: Poems About Hotels, Motels, Restaurants and Bars
   (Night Out co-edited with Laure-Anne Bosselaar)
His latest anthology is called The Measured Word: On Poetry and Science (Univ of Georgia Press, 2001).

     Kurt’s first book of poems, Return of the Prodigals, was published in April, 1999 by Four Way Books.

Samples of the poet's work:

Click on one of the links below to hear the poem, as read by Kurt during his OpenMike Poetry feature:
ASF audio ("streaming" audio, lower quality sound)   [alternate ASF audio]
MPEG-3 audio file (larger file, higher quality sound)
(more info on audio links)

“Cash flow” “liquid assets” “pooling our resources”—
it’s clear that money falls from heaven,
drops in pennies, nickels, dimes, to gather
in the small depressions of our hands.
It’s clear how profit swells and streams of money
merge, how waves of money move
through nations, cause a “rippling effect”
and soon recede.  How some people
drown, while others stay afloat and keep their heads
above the flood.  How banks are “bailed out”
like wounded ships and panic follows,
bubbles burst, small investors find it hard
to breathe.  It’s clear how money
passes through our hands like water,
and our sources, once dried up, leave us
thirsting after more.  How funds
diverted, often vanish, and those without a “safety net”
go “belly up.”  How all we have
goes down the drain, and we get soaked.

Click on one of the links below to hear the poem, as read by Kurt during his OpenMike Poetry feature:
ASF audio ("streaming" audio, lower quality sound)   [alternate ASF audio]
MPEG-3 audio file (larger file, higher quality sound)
(more info on audio links)

The furnace in the basement groans
like a sick god.
I draw curtains on a night
blackbirds brought,
straw by straw, and stuffed
into walls.  Now crickets rattle in the yard—
and stop—
and rattle—and cars go by

The great spaces of America
full of loneliness and raccoons!
Beyond Chicago
the land opens like a prayer.
I have come here
on steps no heavier than dew
to lay my body in a farmhouse in a field
in the newly opened quarter
of a year.

At the bottom of a meadow
the anger of America collects,
all its meanness and fear
swarmed over by horseflies
with maniacal wings.
I ask forgiveness of the raccoon
and the raccoon’s god.
Then try to get some sleep.

Past midnight I wake
to hear small metallic bodies of insects
hurling themselves against the screens.
Again, crickets lift their voices—
lonely chieftains casting up
an almost audible cry
and shuffling their robes of dust.

Also:  The Good Devil

“Money as Water” and “Alone in a Farmhouse in Iowa” appear in Return of the Prodigals.
“The Good Devil” appears in Outsiders: Poems About Rebels, Exiles, and Renegades.

Back to the OpenMike Poetry homepage

     Notes on the audio links:  The audio links for each poem lead to different file-format versions of the same audio content.  The "ASF audio" link will generate "streaming"-type audio which will download and play at the same time (no waiting!)  This seems to work best with Internet Explorer.  To play "ASF" files you'll need to have installed version 6 (or later) of the Microsoft media player, which can be downloaded from
     With some browsers, clicking on the "ASF audio" link will still bring up a "Save As..." window (even after the version 6 Microsoft media player is installed.)  If this happens, use the "Save As..." window to pick a location on your hard drive to save the file (which will end in ".asx") into; then find the file with the "Windows Explorer" and double-click on it to download and play the content.  (Granted, this is not the most elegant work-around; but it's still faster than waiting for the entire audio download to finish before playing it.)
     The "MPEG-3 audio file" link allows you to download a higher-quality MPEG-3 version of the audio (but you have to wait until the download is complete before playing the content.)  The version 6 Microsoft media player will play MPEG-3 files.  The Winamp player will also play these.  (The smaller-sized "alternate ASF audio" files can also be played using MPEG-3 players.)
     The "ASF" file was generated using the Windows Media Encoder found in the Media Tools which can be downloaded from