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Sister: Poems Paperback – September 15, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brown's forthright debut opens with an intimate address to a sister: I tell you this story because it is/ the story we need/ to believe our offal is divine. The poems that follow fuse together the speaker's harrowing history: her birth to an unwed teen, a stepfather's abuse and her teenage escape in a car packed with all her belongings and half a tank of gas. Despite its excesses and reliance on the well-worn imagery of a dusty and impoverished South, this is a striking collection. The strongest poems are those stripped of commentary, in which rough memories are offered as strange discoveries, as in Jessica Meyers in the Corn: In puddles of seeping/ groundwater, I plugged in electrical cords and her skin/ burned black. These brave confessions, apologies and recollections lay everything bare: I want nothing/ but truth between us, but I am afraid. (Sept.)
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Review

At once fleeting and solid, Nickole Brown s Sister is a quietly moving, deeply felt record of the burnished world, a lovely album of one pilgrim s time on earth, thus far. --Carole Maso

Using umbilicus as guide rail, the speaker of Nickole Brown's Sister an unflinching and deeply intelligent first book undertakes a hair-lifting expedition back to her childhood so as to return herself to the arms of a younger sister both long neglected and longed for. Proving that narrative and lyric are never mutually exclusive, Brown pulls the reader down the rain-swollen rush of river where her past gurgles with the sound of diesel, to reveal the pedophile a man who simply // cannot stop. These poems, always stunning in their clairvoyance, advise us to take such experience and simply / bury it, but bury it / alive. I cannot imagine a world in which one could read this book and not experience the confluence of dismay and wonder. --Cate Marvin, Ploughshares

The poems that comprise this haunted narrative are speckled with waterbeds, frosted hair, home pregnancy tests, disco, cigarettes, and black-light posters. The story is of a childhood mired in the 1970s. It is a dark, almost unforgivable world, yet in writing these grim and vivid poems, Nickole Brown has dredged up that all too rare human gift mercy. --Maurice Manning
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press; 2nd edition (September 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597090891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597090896
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "skyheart" on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nickole Brown has created a unique work - crayon-simple at times, life-complex at others. Yet throughout it oozes earthiness, honesty, courage and brilliance.

Read it in one sitting for full impact. Then read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Woods on September 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books of poetry I've read in awhile. A great book for anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's, as there are some delicious details that will make you say, "Oh, yeah, I remember that. . . ." Brown writes heavy with contradiction, never allowing the reader to accept any absolute as the answer. The narrator finely teeters between acceptance and rejection, forgiveness and condemnation, love and hate, all through the eyes of a young woman struggling to come to terms with those oh-so-difficult familial relationships. Universally accessible, this book is full of poems that are like orchids, vulnerable at every turn, yet enduring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Jackson-Brown on October 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I recently had the great fortune to hear Nickole Brown read from SISTERS. I was blown away by the dignity she gave to each piece. I was caught up in the storyline and overjoyed to hear her refer to this collection as a novel.

There are not a great many poets who can tell a story with the sensitivity that Nickole was able to do with SISTERS. Some of the stories were difficult to hear. Nickole didn't hold back on any of her depictions--presenting the reader/listener with complex, flawed characters that were honest, vulnerable, yet at the end of the day, redeemable.

Louisville is fortunate to have such a dynamic writer in our presence.
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