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
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 CarsHis latest anthology is called The Measured Word: On Poetry and Science (Univ of Georgia Press, 2001).
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)
Kurt’s first book of poems, Return
of the Prodigals, was published in April, 1999 by Four
Samples of the poet's work:
MONEY AS WATER
“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.
ALONE IN A FARMHOUSE IN IOWA
The furnace in the basement groans
like a sick god.
I draw curtains on a night
straw by straw, and stuffed
into walls. Now crickets rattle in the yard—
and rattle—and cars go by
The great spaces of America
full of loneliness and raccoons!
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
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