The University of Wisconsin Press



Fleda Brown

The Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
Ronald Wallace, General Editor

Winner of the 2007 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Linda Gregerson

The poems in Reunion insistently turn back toward sources: toward home and the idea of home, toward the body, and toward objects that return us to ourselves. They always surprise, moving from quantum mechanics, wildflowers, and a Bobcat driver to a woman killed by a flying deer, magma becoming rock, and an invasion of flying ants. Fleda Brown deftly unites daily frustrations and suffering with profound psychological, physical, and cosmic questions.

"Herons are bigger than egrets, though they have the same long legs.
My father said one with an eight-foot wingspan flew over his boat.
I would like to be shadowed by something that big. It would seem

like poetry, just out of reach, moving and making a bare flush
of wings, and I would think of it long after, the way it was heading
away from me. My longing would not be satisfied even if I could

grab its scrawny legs in my hand, even if it nuzzled up to me."
–excerpt from "No Heron"
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"From rigorously formalist to prose-poetic, these poems, with their invariably eloquent details, are lessons in sharp observation and what it is to be a woman with a grand heart, a penetrating mind, and not least, a keen wit."
–Sydney Lea, author of Ghost Pain

"Things fall apart in these poems–memories, family, and the expanding universe are scattered into pieces, spread across imagination's space. But Brown also seeks to compose–or at least to imply the possibility of–their reunion. Cast in an impressive variety of forms, she manages her signature, magical metamorphoses, poetry soaring at its best, yet, somehow, never leaving the ground it rises from."–Dabney Stuart

"The neighborly language of local exchange and local enchantment, slipknot and memory, cell–stream and the surgeon's knife, runs like springwater through the poems of Fleda Brown. So perfectly tempered are the apprehensions of metaphor, so cunning are the felicities of form–rhyming as natural as human breath!–we're tempted to think it's not art at all. Except for the radiance, which only art, and a generous mind, can make."
–Linda Gregerson

Photo credit: Kathryn Harris; this is a photo of the poet, Fleda Brown. Her hair is medium length, and she is wearing a blue blazer or jacket.Fleda Brown is Poet Laureate of Delaware, professor of English at the University of Delaware, and author of Breathing In, Breathing Out, winner of the Philip Levine Prize, and The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives. Her poetry has been published in journals including Poetry, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and Georgia Review. This is her sixth collection of poems.

Fleda Brown has her own web site, visit

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the cover of Reunion is green, with a small, white petaled flower.

March 2007

LC: 2006031482 PS
88 pp.    6 x 9

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Cloth $26.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-22180-5
Paper $14.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-22184-3
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Updated March 10, 2010

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