Hopkins welcomed poet Jericho Brown to campus on February 14, 2020. At an all-school assembly he shared a collection of his celebrated prose including "Foreday in the Morning," "Odd Jobs," "Autobiography," "Hero," and "The Tradition." He also recited the poignant poem, "Bullet Points," a reaction to the number of Black people who have died suspiciously in police custody.
During his presentation, he shared a glimpse at his literary beginnings. Brown's love of poetry and words began at an early age. He learned the power of words from growing up in the Black church, where he and the other children in his congregation would be invited to share recitations and performances on holidays for the church. As a child he also spent many hours in libraries where he could explore books to his heart's content. He shared that despite a long academic career studying poetry, and earning a PhD, he didn't consider himself a poet until his first collection of poems, Please, was published in 2008.
Brown spent the remainder of the morning in two Q&A sessions in the Calarco Library, delving deeper into his process and sharing advice for eager young writers. Following lunch with faculty on the Hopkins Poetry Committee, he engaged in an intimate poetry workshop with students from the DayStar literary magazine in the afternoon.
Jericho Brown is the author of three collections of poetry: The Tradition (2019), a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award; The New Testament (2014), which won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets; and Please (2008), which won the 2009 American Book Award. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, The Nation, the New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.