Acacia Road (Silverfish Review Press, 2018)
Aaron Brown's new poetry collection, Acacia Road, published by Silverfish Review Press, is the winner of the 2016 Gerald Cable Book Award and the 2018 Nelson Poetry Book Award.
"Acacia Road is a vivid, brilliant, and haunting memory palace, evoking Aaron Brown's childhood spent in Chad on the cusp of its civil war, and while at times the 'second space' of recollection, seems idyllic, the sound of shelling and gunfire, and news of human violence is never far away." Michael Collier
"These poems proceed by an earnest story-telling and remembering. And while the surfaces of the poems are characterized by skillful narrative and descriptive impulses, underpinning most of them runs a deeper agon and self-critique, uncovering both a fear of and a relentless thirst for the ecstatic. These poems embody, at their best, that thirst." Li-Young Lee
"Brown’s voice is that of the pilgrim, the seeker, the nomad—think Ibn Battuta meets Rumi meets Rilke with some good old Mark Twain narrative sprinkled throughout—an Orpheus who returns to sing." Rhino
"Acacia Road strikes us with wonder. It tells large stories and small stories. It allows us to peer down the rows of acacia trees, sit next to the grandmother making bread, and listen to the workers singing their sorrowful songs." - Tweetspeak Poetry
"Aaron Brown’s poetry is beautifully written... transforming the ordinary into exquisite, blissful bits of writing. From the precious time spent with friends come these poems in which not a particular geographic region, but the land of youth, generosity and love is the true mother country so longed for." African Book Review
"Acacia Road is a collection I want to return to and hold my ear against. I swear, you can hear the silence violence brings about, splintering." Collateral Journal
"Aaron Brown’s Acacia Road moves between the past and the present, and the known and the unknown, wandering the rooms of memory and the knowledge of the body. But Acacia Road also evokes real places, full of real lives and hard lessons, deeply felt and evocatively rendered. The narratives in this book resist easy certainty, and the images suggest how distance is both a measure of miles, and an important emotional register, as a cloud-like voice rises up to say, 'pay attention / or you will / miss your destination.' And these poems do pay close attention. To language—'I knew how to sing a little.' To time—'then and only then could we share a kind of silence, the pause between one cup of tea and the next.' And, ultimately, to the questions that remain for all of us as we travel together: 'Now, as the meat on my bones passes through death’s teeth, will you remember me?' One way I measure the impact of a book is in my desire to start over again when I am finished, and it was a deep pleasure to turn and return to the mysterious and familiar roads of these richly imagined poems." Jenny Browne
Listen to Aaron's conversation with NPR-affiliate KMUW.
Read reviews of Acacia Road in the following publications:
Rhino, Tweatspeak, Collateral, and Englewood Review of Books.
You can read interviews with Aaron at The Hutchinson News and Speaking of Marvels.
You can purchase Acacia Road through Small Press Distribution as well as Amazon.