Review: Please by Jericho Brown

Jace Harr

Jericho Brown’s 2008 collection Please is a free-verse auditory adventure from the place where blackness and homosexuality intertwine. This is Brown’s first book, but not his first foray into poetry, having completed an MFA and being published in numerous highly acclaimed magazines. He has also worked as a professor and speechwriter in New Orleans.

Divided into sections titled like the buttons on a CD player, Brown often uses music and musicians as a backdrop for his experiences. The collection focuses on themes of shame, but since the tone is neutral and the imagery is varied, it does not feel overwhelming, nor like a pity party.

Here’s the statement from the book jacket, presumably written by the author:

Please explores the points in our lives at which love and violence intersect. Drunk on its own rhythms and full of imaginative and often frightening imagery, Please is the album playing in…

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