In this volume Michael Dennis Browne has gathered together short poems from every phase of his long career into chapters focusing on childhood nature private anxieties and irrationalities extended family and other themes variously spacious and personal. Some have the ring of nursery rhymes others the melancholy lilt of an elegy the blunt force of an occasional poem by Yeats or the enigmatic resonance of a passage from scripture. There are times when a few phrases can conjure an indelible moment of experience and perhaps an entire universe though the reader must fill in the blanks. We meet up with such moments repeatedly in the pages of this compact and powerful collection
Michael Dennis Browne was born in England of mostly Irish ancestry in 1940 and has lived in the United States since 1965. Two of his collections have won the Minnesota Book Award for poetry. As a librettist and lyricist he has written many texts for music working for almost four decades with composer Stephen Paulus their best-known shorter works include "Pilgrims' Hymn " "The Road Home " "Hymn to the Eternal Flame" and "Hymn for America." To Be Certain of the Dawn a post-Holocaust oratorio (BIS Records) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music by the Minnesota Orchestra. He has recently worked with Craig Hella Johnson on the fusion oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard. Browne taught at Iowa Columbia and Bennington and is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Minnesota where he taught for thirty-nine years and was a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He was the first Kilian McDonnell Writer-in-Residence at the Collegeville Institute at Saint John's University and in 2014 received the Graven Award from Wartburg College.