The News

The News

by Jeffrey Brown


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The News is more than a venture into art by someone prominent in another field. In these poems, an unconventional subject for poetry is dealt with from within, by a real poet.”—Robert Pinsky

As a nationally recognized correspondent and anchor for the PBS NewsHour, Jeffrey Brown has reported on important events around the world. In his debut poetry collection, The News, he re-imagines and re-tells his experiences through poems that explore stories he’s covered, places he’s gone, people he’s met, the thrills and doubts of his profession, as well as the profound intimacy of family. In these pages we hear the narratives of artists, inmates, cadets, and survivors of the world’s tragedies, as Brown conveys both suffering and triumph with a music that pays tribute to the multitude of human voices, opening his own life and expression for public viewing. Full of self-examination, brave honesty, and wry humor, The News captures not what’s on one side of the lens but all that surrounds it.

In his introduction to the book, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky writes, "Jeffrey Brown in this book apprehends some specific realities: the news as a medium and the news that is the medium’s object. Brown’s poetry examines that material in a new way, giving it a fresh, urgent form….By honoring the human voice, Jeffrey Brown has brought a remarkable, fresh kind of attention to these questions of identity and presence, delusion and awareness—in the specific realm of television news and in life itself.”

"Brown’s experiences before the relentless eye of the camera and within the churn and pressure of the
perpetual news cycle as an Emmy Award–winning journalist and chief arts and culture correspondent for PBS’ NewsHour shapes his strikingly forthright poems. Brown’s directness is professional in origin, but he is keenly aware of and haunted by what’s missing from the news, which is why he seeks 'another angle' in poetry."—Booklist

Haiti: Kacite

We, who lie, who cannot say—

for there is no good way to put this—

we are here to show the horror of your life.

In Kacite they passed out purification tablets

displayed with pride their new latrine.

A woman sweeping her dusty steps—

asked to act naturally for the camera

to act as though we're not here—

more honest and aware than us, replied:

How can I pretend that you are not here?

Was that not you who spoke just now?

Jeffrey Brown is the chief correspondent for arts, culture, and society at PBS NewsHour. His work has taken him all over the world as he searches for the connections between news and poetry. He is the creator and host of "Art Beat," which is NewsHour's online arts and culture blog. As a producer and correspondent, his work has earned him an Emmy the Cine Golden Eagle. He lives in Washington, DC.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556594809
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 05/05/2015
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 1,049,764
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Emmy award-winning journalist, Jeffrey Brown is the Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society at PBS the NewsHour. He has interviewed artists and writers in addition to reporting from the field. His work has taken him all over the world, from Haiti to Myanmar as he searches for the connections between news and poetry. He is the creator and host of “Art Beat,” which is the NewsHour’s online arts and culture blog. As a producer and a correspondent, his work has earned him an Emmy, five Cine Golden Eagle Awards, and other honors. In 2014, he traveled across the country with Natasha Trethewey, former Poet Laureate of the United States, for the PBS NewsHour special poetry series “Where Poetry Lives.” He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Foreword Robert Pinsky xi

Dedication 3

Part 1 Nightly News

Nightly News 7

Song: Lead Story 8

Haiti 10

Beirut 11

Joplin 13

Headlines 1 15

News Flow 16

West Point 17

Rain Shadow Review 19

Campaign 2012 21

European Union 24

Intervention 25

Song of the News 26

Part 2 Questions

The Art of the Interview 29

Philip Roth 31

Taha Muhammad Ali 32

Mark Morris 34

Headlines 2 36

Richard Avedon 37

Gore Vidal 38

Suzanne Farrell: September 10, 2001 39

Brice Marden 41

Neanderthal 42

Museum of Modern Art 44

Night 45

Interview 46

Part 3 The News from Home

Letters to the Editor 51

Voice 53

The Influence of Anxiety 55

Sam Brown 57

Side Effects 59

Television: An Argument 60

Headlines 3 62

Memory 63

Succession 65

The News inside His Head 67

Channel One: Guide 69

Cortona 71

Forecast 72

Part 4 The News at Midnight

Theater of War 75

Honor Roll 77

History 82

Obituary 83

Poetry and Prose 85

Haiti: Kacite 86

Afterword 87

Acknowledgments 94

About the Author 95

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