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About this poet

Mahogany L. Browne was born in Oakland, California. She is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, including Black Girl Magic (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, 2018), Kissing Caskets (YesYes Books, 2017), Smudge (Button Poetry, 2016), Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015) and #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online (Penmanship Books, 2010).

Browne is the founder and publisher of Penmanship Books, which she created “as the answer to the performance poet’s publishing problem.” She is also the author of Unlikely & Other Sorts (Penmanship Books, 2006), a collection of poetry and essays, and the editor of His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by HER (Penmanship Books, 2007).

Also an award-winning performance poet, Browne is active in the spoken word community. She has released five LPs of her work and serves as the poetry program director and Friday Night Slam curator for the Nuyorican Poets Café. She is the Poetry Coordinator of the MFA program at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. 


Selected Bibliography

Smudge (Button Poetry, 2016)
Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015)
Swag (Penmanship Books, 2010)
#Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online in 140 Characters or Less (Penmanship Books, 2010)
Unlikely & Other Sorts (Penmanship Books, 2006)

the blk(est) night

the blk(est) night
be a blk girl

she think

her hair
too good
    & her waist
    too small
        & her fit
        too cute
            & her jeans
            too flyy

& her mama ain't nothing
like her
& the bitches
on the corner
ain't nothing like her
& can't nobody sweat her style      
                                 but jesus

Copyright © 2015 by Mahogany Browne. From Smudge (Button Poetry, 2015). Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2015 by Mahogany Browne. From Smudge (Button Poetry, 2015). Used with permission of the author.

Mahogany L Browne

Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne is the author of Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015) and #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online (Penmanship Books, 2010).

by this poet

poem

I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish I could break
All the chains holding me —Nina Simone


today i am a black woman in america
& i am singing a melody ridden lullaby
it sounds like:
              the gentrification of a brooklyn stoop

2
poem

If you ain’t never watched your parents kiss 
             ain’t neva have them teach you 
‘bout the way lips will       to bend & curve 
against a lover’s affirmation 

If you ain’t never watched the knowing nod 
of sweethearts worn away & soft 
as a speaker box’s blown out

poem
when I dropped my 12-year-old off at her first
homecoming dance, I tried not to look
 
her newly-developed breasts, all surprise and alert
in their uncertainty. I tried not to imagine her
 
mashed between a young man's curiousness
and the gym's sweaty wall. I tried not picture
 
her grinding off beat/on time to
2