Crowns of Charlotte

Lee Ann Brown
Crowns of Charlotte
ISBN 978-0-932112-94-1
Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series #15 (2013)
Price: $15.95  Sale: $14.35

Reviews, Interviews, etc. 

Valerie Nieman’s review of Crowns of Charlotte at The North Carolina Literary Review

A poem, “What is the Grass?”, by Lee Ann Brown is online at The Academy of American Poets.

Rob Mclennan reviews Crowns of Charlotte here, August 25, 2013.

Lee Ann Brown and L. Lamar Wilson interviewed by Jeff David for “WordPlay” on Asheville FM, July 14, 2013.


Lee Ann Brown will take part in a panel on “Poetic Explorations” as part of this year’s Poets Forum hosted by the Academy of American Poets in New York City, Oct 24-26, 2013; more information here.

Advance Praise for Crowns of Charlotte

Crowns of Charlotte is sweet tea and something necessarily stronger,
singing, ferocious—Lee Ann Brown’s poems open forms and flora
to an endless storm front. The reader finds herself (like the poet) a
citizen inside, affixed to the generous field.” —ELAINE BLEAKNEY

“Radiating an affection for true roots and veins of place, Lee Ann
Brown expertly renders the crown in a name, and invites us to celebrate
the ‘School of the Imagination.’ In Crowns of Charlotte, Brown
is at her ‘most vibratory’ leading us to ‘what happens through a new
lens’ where urban meets Appalachian, tradition meets revisionary
embrace, and innovation collides with charmed reverberation. This
is a book which unites worlds with great intelligence and beauty, and
makes fluid the movement from child-mind to mother, lovingly weaving
past and future into a stunning poetic sequence. Lee Ann Brown
is a master of the constant ‘now.’ To read her work is to enter: flower,
song, psalm.” —LAYNIE BROWNE

“An autobiography ‘of human DNA’s complexity,’ of the poet and the
poem from inside their own helixes, of family and place from inside
individual histories, and of the war culture from inside its radiant
points of departure, Crowns of Charlotte offers ‘multiple views of
reality/in a single work’ to demonstrate a thesis: ‘every poem can be
a new language.’ Coiled within this thesis is the poet’s perspective:
‘We are the observer photographers of our personal ages/DNAs of
each others’ ways I am in the middle.’Working joyfully and elegiacally,
sonically and visually, Lee Ann Brown creates poems that act
as charged strands of DNA molecules ‘in time to finger to find/The
new way to unwind/Skeins of sound in mind.’” —AMY CATANZANO

“How rare it is, and how precious, that a poet with so many gifts
decides to examine the terrain where she was formed, where her mongrel
style was busy being born, one foot in the experimental cambium
of her mind’s poetry laboratory, and the other in the instinctive
rhythms of balladry and folk songs, the myths and tall tales that
inform her sensibility. Brown’s lacework is a fine architecture, tough
and tender at once, where she sits in the center of her quivering creationsand and spins like a sweet spider, giving us the language we need
to tell the stories that are already within us, whose existence we had
forgotten until now.” —KEITH FLYNN

“Lee Ann Brown’s ikebana sentences link material and maternal worlds
to wreathe and doubly crown portraits of her home town with historical
teeth marks. Take this auricular tour by a poet who knows what to
do with skin texts we are too tight with. Here’s a textural, textual
matrix from a mother of invention.” —JULIE PATTON

“Crowns is a 3-D spiral-ride, gravity pulling our body with the
fortunes of a cast of characters of Brown’s family (maybe-less-crazy-than-
Flannery O’Connor’s-citizens of-the-mind), and as the spiral
we’re riding widens out into the sky we let go like a weightless game
of whip-the-tail, and we fly up from mountain peaks and for
moments—like breaks in the clouds—we see everything at once.”

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, NC. She is the author of Polyverse, The Sleep That Changed Everything, Bagatelles for Cornell, and In the Laurels, Caught. She is the founder of Tender Buttons press, and is Associate Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City. Brown lives in both New York City and Marshall, NC.

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