While not all great poets don’t chose big education as their chosen path to success, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jericho Brown chose that challenging path for himself. Writer Malcolm Gladwell, the author of “Outliers: The Story of success”. asserts that great success comes only by three major things; talent, preparation and practice. And Brown sure did do his time in the classroom, both as student and an educator to achieve success in the very difficult vocation of Poet.
Jericho Brown was born on April 14, 1976 in Shreveport, Louisiana and served at one time as a speech writer for the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of New Orleans, where he earned an MFA, and the University of Houston where he earned his PhD. He went on to become an accomplished college professor and continued paying his dues by having his poetry published in various publications the New England Review, The New York Times and New Yorker Magazine. He released his first book of poems entitled “Please” in 2008 and his second book “The New Testament”. He then released his third collection of poems “The Tradition” in 2019 to critical acclaim and a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. And it was written of him “His lyrics are memorable, muscular and majestic. His voice in these lines is alive…” “The Tradition” is a book that addresses the systematic evil in society and how it impacts him.
Brown is rather liberal in his views and has recently Tweeted:
I want Biden to win this thing and I want that senate too. And I want it so I can see what they boldly do for the people who put them there. the people who have the power to keep them there. What should those people do if their needs are not met by those they’ve empowered?
This on the cutting edge poet did not succeed to gain a significant voice in the world overnight. It took many years of consistent hard work at his craft. Congratulations on your prize, Mr. Jericho Brown.