Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” And author Jennifer Brown wrote, “Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.”
Poetry has a unique way of capturing our feelings, doesn’t it? We can use beautiful words and arrange them so that they take on new meaning and communicate our feelings to others in new and different ways. We can create poems that help us process our thoughts and emotions, and poetry can help us relate to one another and heal from personal trauma. It’s a powerful art form that we often overlook.
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, “Poetry? You mean that boring stuff I had to study in school?” Maybe you didn’t have the best experience studying poetry in high school, but that doesn’t mean that all poetry is boring! Contemporary poets like my guest are doing incredible things with their art, and it’s worth exploring!
Jericho Brown is an incredible poet and artist, and even if you’ve never read poetry on your own before, you’re going to want to check out his work after this episode. As a queer man living in America, Jericho has a few things to say — and he speaks eloquently and artfully through his poems. Not to mention the fact that he’s been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for his work! Jericho is an incredible talent, and I’m thrilled to have him here on The School of Greatness!
Jericho Brown is one of the foremost poets working today. His work covers a range of topics from his experiences as a queer man to his religious identities. His work has been featured everywhere from the New York Times to Buzzfeed, and he is the Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.
Jericho’s work has also won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Tradition, which was also a finalist for the National Book Award. He has also been awarded the American Book Award for his first book, Please, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his second book, The New Testament. The New Testament was also named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. Jericho has also been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Award.
But in addition to being a great poet and artist, Jericho is just an all-around great guy. I had so much fun getting to know him, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing our conversation! I had a lot of fun picking his brain about the complexities of life, the nuances of pain and healing, and the secrets to vulnerability.
In this episode, we dive deep into all of those things and more. We discussed Jericho’s experiences growing up queer, why shame affects us so much, and how we can overcome pain and trauma. We also talked about identity and how Jericho has shaped and reshaped himself, even changing his name. And we talked about what it takes to be a self-confident, sensitive, and successful artist in the world today. This conversation was fascinating — I know you’re going to love it as much as I did! If you’re ready to unlock self-confidence, heal your trauma, and start making money as an artist, don’t miss Episode 1,033 of The School of Greatness!