“Exurbia is full of nature, description and music, which the narrators of Brown’s poems face head on, embracing complexity, poetic and natural forms, and beauty. Brown’s vocabulary is diverse and intriguing, wide-ranging and often unexpected – without being the slightest bit awkward or affected. Interestingly the ‘I’ in these poems is often absent altogether, or for the majority of the poem; the focus is on what is seen, not who is describing or engaging with the subject of the poem. This is refreshing in lyric poetry, and gets one away from the idea that the poet or the narrator knows more than we the readers do and will share his epiphany and knowledge with us; here, the narrator is sidelined and the subject foregrounded.
Brown is quietly renewing and subverting the lyric and pastoral, through importing Oulipian and other word-games and forms, by changing the expected contents and points-of-view, by the disappearance of the self from many of the poems… this is warm, confident, assertive and human poetry that may not have shock value, but does have plenty of longevity and gravitas, not to mention serious poetic impulse.”
Rupert Loydell, Stride – Read the full review here. Purchase Exurbia