Telling the New Stories
A Conversation with poet and essayist Nickole Brown
About the Event
Join us for a conversation with poet and essayist Nickole Brown, who is emerging as one of the most compelling voices responding to the emotions and responsibilities called up by this age of depersonalization, climate change, and habitat destruction.
Brown describes her work as “resisting the kind of pastorals that made her (and many of the working-class folks from the Kentucky that raised her) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it...speak[ing] in a Southern-trash-talking way about nature beautiful, damaged, dangerous, and in desperate need of saving.”
She challenges her readers and students alike to engage the human and more-than-human world around them through their own bodies and perceptions, and to harness this fuller awareness to inspire understanding and action.
In this conversation, we will hear Brown read from her work and discuss her own journey toward writing that responds to the current crisis with passion, honesty, and joy. This conversation, which will be moderated by Graham School instructor Stephanie Friedman, will preview Friedman’s course this winter.
Nickole Brown is the author of Sister, first published in 2007 with a new edition reissued in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says (BOA Editions), won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. Currently, she teaches at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program and lives in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at several different animal sanctuaries. Since 2016, she’s been writing about these animals. To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of these first nine poems, won the 2018 Rattle Prize, and her essay-in-poems, The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. In 2021, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with Jessica Jacobs, with whom she co-founded the SunJune Literary Collaborative. She's also the President of the Hellbender Gathering of Poets, an annual environmental literary festival set to launch in Black Mountain, NC, in October of 2025.
Writer's Studio Instructor
Stephanie has had work published in Michigan Quarterly Review, among other venues, and a “distinguished” story listed in Best American Short Stories. She holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and an MA in English from the University of Chicago.