Added: Monday, February 11, 2019 / Previously in "Michigan Quarterly Review." Used with permission.
Nickole Brown is the author of Sister, first published in 2007 with a new edition reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions and won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. The audiobook of that collection became available in 2017. She is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and has taught at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Ashville, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at four different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she's at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won't consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it. These poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature: beautiful, damaged, dangerous, and in desperate need of saving. A chapbook of these poems called To Those Who Were Our First Gods recently won the 2018 Rattle Chapbook Prize. Learn more at Nickole's website.