The New Testament
Jericho Brown’s The New Testament is a devastating meditation on race, sexuality and contemporary American society by one of the most important voices in US poetry, and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
‘To read Jericho Brown’s poems is to encounter devastating genius.’ – Claudia Rankine.
In poems of immense clarity, lyricism and skill, Brown shows us a world where disease runs through the body, violence runs through the neighbourhood, and trauma runs through generations. Here Brown makes brilliant and subversive use of Bible stories to address the gay experience from both a personal and a political perspective. By refusing to sacrifice nuance, no matter how charged and urgent his subject, Brown is one of the handful of contemporary poets who have found a speech adequate to the complex times in which we live, and a way to express an equivocal hope for the future.
The New Testament was winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Paterson Award for Literary Excellence.
Dazzling verse on masculinity and race, steeped in the language of the Bible and addressing sexuality and violence, this is a striking and inspiring collection . . . His poems reveal an unwavering belief in the power of language to redeem us from the wreckage of history and contemporary conflict, one that is contagious and might even give us all a reason for hope.
To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius.
Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen and Macarthur Genius Award winner
In his second collection, The New Testament,Brown treats disease and love and lust between men, with a gentle touch, returning again and again to the stories of the Bible, which confirm or dispute his vision of real life. 'Every last word is contagious, ' he writes, awake to all the implications of that phrase. There is plenty of guiltsurvivor s guilt, sinner s guiltand ever-present death, but also the joy of survival and sin. And not everyone has the chutzpah to rewrite The Good Book.