Mortality, with Friends


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
5.51 X 8.43 X 0.63 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Fleda Brown's tenth collection of poems, Flying through a Hole in the Storm, won the Hollis Summers Prize from Ohio University Press. Earlier poems can be found in The Woods Are on Fire: New & Selected Poems, chosen by Ted Kooser for the University of Nebraska poetry series. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware and was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001 to 2007.


I have long felt that Fleda Brown the poet had an utterly unparalleled capacity to meld keen intellect, extending even to hard science, with exquisite lyrical sensibility. To read these essays, at once heart-rending and reassuring, is to affirm that that capacity applies to her prose as well. It is not mere hyperbole to say that the woman is matchless, whatever her genre.--Sydney Lea "Vermont poet laureate (2011-2015)" (5/4/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Mortality, with Friends endeavors to gather, to slightly misquote Leonard Cohen's trope, 'gather up the brokenness and bring it to [us] now.' In an age of isolation, Fleda Brown beckons us to draw near and pay heed to the heart's joyous and sorrowful mysteries, the heart's bewilderments, into the maw of which she tenders a 'countervalent language.' This is balm, a splendid feat in essaying; an orderliness, which feels, if not like healing, a sort of palliative against the ineluctable feature of humanity, to wit: we die.--Thomas Lynch "author of The Depositions and Bone Rosary" (5/4/2021 12:00:00 AM)
In Fleda Brown's Mortality, with Friends, every life form 'deserves its own kind of honor': the ordinary and extraordinary, the tiny and massive, the political and personal, even an impossibly difficult father residing in that 'deep interior wound we call parent.' Like the sailboat of her childhood whose 'sail breathes the breath of forms, ' Brown's arresting essays set off to catch the 'pattern of disruption'of memory's ever-changing currents.--Rebecca McClanahan "author of In the Key of New York City: A Memoir in Essays" (5/4/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Fleda Brown is a writer who cannot look away. In Mortality, with Friends, she probes the deep extent of love by way of loss, and in this way honors the hard truths of living. There is sorrow in these pages, but reading I also kept thinking of Dylan Thomas, his line 'Light breaks where no sun shines.'--Sven Birkerts "author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age" (5/4/2021 12:00:00 AM)
How is it possible to so fiercely and so lovingly hold and shape the truth of a life? I read these essays hungrily, with the attention one pays a trusted guide, and with the deep pleasure one receives from a poet continually stunned into language.--Lia Purpura "author of All the Fierce Tethers" (5/4/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Mortality, with Friends is neither mind-numbingly bleak nor unrealistically cheery; it is honest and emotional, written a lyrical element adding an ever-so-slightly poetic touch to its insights. Highly recommended.--Susan Bethany "Midwest Book Review" (11/18/2021 12:00:00 AM)