Redbone by Mahogany L. Browne

Redbone by Mahogany L. Browne (2015)

Innovators Series

ISBN 978-0-9961390-8-3


Praise for Redbone:

“What I may love most about Redbone is the way it strains—formally, with syntax and diction, with voice and perspective, searching for the right space on the page—to make of this complex family story—which, like most family stories, is made of sweetness and plain old hurt—a kind of bearable song. It’s such a moving act. Such a caring and true telling. Such a singing.”

Ross Gay, author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

“Mahogany L. Browne’s Redbone shudders with raw ferocity, each line shouldering the sweet burden of her raveled roles as mother, artist and intractable activist. These words don’t entertain—they detonate.”

Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

“A woman—a black woman—a high-yellow black woman—depending on the circumstances, can be clouds or smoke, can be liquid with desire or ablaze with rage. With her mama behind her, her life before her, her men near and far, and her babies in her arms, Browne’s Redbone shows us just how this is so. She is fully, vitally human in Browne’s vibrant art: breathing, dancing, cursing, loving, hurting, and surviving. Open these pages and meet her where she lives.”

Evie Shockley

“Fiercely crafted and beautifully voiced, Mahogany L. Browne’s poems revolve around a love story. At the center stands Redbone, a woman who speaks music and whose ‘cackle break through the wind like law.’ As the love story unfolds, wondrous images and phrases ring like grace notes. Browne has an exquisite ear and a gift for arranging syllables into elegant speech patterns. This is a lyrical and powerful debut.”

Eduardo C. Corral

The Cave Canem and Poets House alumn is the author of several books including Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution &’s Best Poetry Books of 2010. Mahogany bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada’s The Word and UK’s MOBO. Her poetry has been published in literary journals Pluck, Manhattanville Review, Muzzle, Union Station Mag, Literary Bohemian, Bestiary, Joint & The Feminist Wire. She has several new poetry collections: Smudge (Button Poetry), Redbone (Willow Books) & the anthology The Break Beat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket). She is an Urban Word NYC mentor, as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Brown is also the publisher of Penmanship Books, the Nuyorican Poets Café Poetry Program Director and Friday Night Slam curator and currently an MFA Candidate for Writing & Activism at Pratt Institute.