Fleda Brown

Poetry, Nonfiction

Fleda Brown Profile
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Biography

Fleda Brown has published nine collections of poems.  The Woods Are On Fire: New & Selected Poems was published in 2017 by the University of Nebraska Press.  The book is in the Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series.  Her work has twice appeared in The Best American Poetry and has won a Pushcart Prize, the Felix Pollak Prize, the Philip Levine Prize, and the Great Lakes Colleges New Writer’s Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Poetry Series.  Her memoir, Driving With Dvorak, was published in 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press.  She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware, where she taught for 27 years and directed the Poets in the Schools program. She was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001-07.  She now lives with her husband, Jerry Beasley, in Traverse City, Michigan.

Mentor.  Workshops and classes in poetry and nonfiction.

Statement:  “Ive taught many kinds of workshops – one-shot 3-hour sessions, weekend retreats, and semester-long creative writing classes.  Sometimes students come into a workshop simply wanting a push, sometimes they need help finding their voices.  Everyone talks about ‘finding a voice,’ as if we all knew what this means.  We don’t.  I don’t.  What I can do in a workshop is to help students allow themselves to be clumsy, foolish, and sometimes nuts in their writing, while loosely hanging onto the reins.  What are the reins?  I don’t know that, either, but we can figure it out by looking closely at the best work we can get our hands on.  No one ever had a ‘voice’ that came from nowhere.  It develops partly from bouncing off other voices—the ones in the workshop, and the ones on the page.  I dearly love being around when the bounce lands in new territory.”