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Mahogany L. Browne
Publisher: Button Poetry
30 Pages, 15 Poems
ISBN: 9780989641579
Price: $12.00
To Purchase:


Acclaimed poet Mahogany L. Browne triumphs again with her latest poetry collection SMUDGE, a powerful, intimate,
and complex portrait of a girl  who deserves more  than  what she is given: a world in which our hero is both painfully
invisible and  vulnerably exposed.   Browne masterfully invites us into this girl's life  with language that is evocative,
nuanced and immediate.   The result is a book that is incredibly present. You live each moment presented in the book
as if it were your own, and feel deeply the girl's fears and her humiliations, her  hopeful trust and blind love, her shift-
ing sense of safety and self.  But despite the honest and harrowing heartbreak that finds its way into the girl, the book
nonetheless has a defiant beauty,  a strength of character and self that willfully defies the limits others attempt to put
on this girl.    Browne continues her  tradition of creating rich, unflinching, and unapologetic work cataloguing the
world as she sees it, and SMUDGE sees her at the top of her game.
– Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, NEA Poetry Fellow & author of The Year of No Mistakes


Cave Canem Fellow Mahogany L. Browne is the editor of the women's anthology His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by Her
and author of several books including SWAG   (Penmanship Books, 2010),   #DEAR TWITTER: LOVE LETTERS HASHED
(Penmanship Books, 2010), Redbone (Willow Books, 2015), and SMUDGE
(Button Poetry, 2016).   She has released five LPs including the live album Sheroshima. As co-founder of the Off Broadway
poetry production, Jam On It, and co-producer of NYC's 1st Performance Poetry Festival: SoundBites Poetry Festival, Mahogany
bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Her freelance journalism can be found in magazines Uptown, KING,
XXL, The Source, Canada's The Word and UK's MOBO. She facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout
the country, focusing on women empowerment and youth mentoring. She is the publisher of Penmanship Books, a small press for
performance artists, and owns PoetCD.Com, an online marketing and distribution company for poets. Mahogany is currently
host and curator at the Nuyorican Poets Café.


   The first time you realize you love a girl your sister will make you pay    a smart lean across your
   adoring eyes      the brownest thing on earth,          your    mama         say & sister will wiggle her
   finger like a secret & you love her so much you can't stand it  you pretend you are her & wear her
   PJs the ones with the yellow rainbows across the chest   the ones tossed at the edge of the daybed
   every time she leaves for her father's house       & you don't go over there as much       cause your
   mama say NO      & she let you cry or sometimes     they just wait    til you sleep     or sometimes
   you forget to cry   until they walk back up the driveway the next day   & you got a name for what
   pain   slams in your chest        but your brother    & sister  both older & mama-look-a-likes climb
   across the pavement drop their bags      returned to you     on the lawn    you wait     & your sister
   know you love her cause you do whatever she demands    & she wiggle her finger say          got a
   secret   &    your brownbrown eyes open wide w/huh?     the water hose an unsteady dam in your
   hands shoot the dirt up from the grass       & spray dark drops on your face        but  you  can't be
   bothered so you scurry across the wet lawnclose enough to her face to hear her whisper
   "mom found you in the gutter we told her to give you       away but she wouldn't listen."           

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