Book Launch Event with Fleda Brown

Cover art: Mortality, with Friends, by Fleda Brown

We had a wonderful time with Fleda celebrating the release of her new essay collection.  The event (our first to include an in-person component since the pandemic began!) was also streamed live, and the recording is now available to enjoy if you weren't able to attend in person.  Check out the full video below!


About the book:


Mortality, With Friends is a collection of lyrical essays from Fleda Brown, a writer and caretaker, of her father and sometimes her husband, who lives with the nagging uneasiness that her cancer could return. Memoir in feel, the book muses on the nature of art, of sculpture, of the loss of bees and trees, the end of marriages, and among other things, the loss of hearing and of life itself.

Containing twenty-two essays, Mortality, With Friends follows the cascade of loss with the author's imminent joy in opening a path to track her own growing awareness and wisdom. In "Donna," Brown examines a childhood friendship and questions the roles we need to play in each other's lives to shape who we might become. In "Native Bees," Brown expertly weaves together the threads of a difficult family tradition intended to incite happiness with the harsh reality of current events. In "Fingernails, Toenails," she marvels at the attention and suffering that accompanies caring for our aging bodies. In "Mortality, with Friends," Brown dives into the practical and stupefying response to her own cancer and survival. In "2019: Becoming Mrs. Ramsay," she remembers the ghosts of her family and the strident image of herself, positioned in front of her Northern Michigan cottage.

Comparable to Lia Purpura's essays in their density and poetics, Brown's intent is to look closely, to stay with the moment and the image. Readers with a fondness for memoir and appreciation for art will be dazzled by the beauty of this collection.


Headshot of author and poet Fleda Brown


About the author:

Fleda Brown's tenth collection of poems, Flying through a Hole in the Storm, won the Hollis Summers Prize from Ohio University Press. Earlier poems can be found in The Woods Are on Fire: New & Selected Poems, chosen by Ted Kooser for the University of Nebraska poetry series. She is professor emerita at the University of Delaware and was poet laureate of Delaware from 2001 to 2007.  Fleda is a regular visitor here at Brilliant Books and has participated in a number of events here, including our 2021 Poetry Month Panel.





An Evening with Fleda Brown

An evening with Fleda Brown in celebration of her new collection of essays: Mortality, with Friends

Posted by Brilliant Books on Friday, September 24, 2021


Event date: 
Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
118 E Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Mortality, with Friends (Made in Michigan Writers) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814348741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wayne State University Press - September 7th, 2021

My Wobbly Bicycle: Meditations on Cancer and the Creative Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943995172
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Mission Point Press - September 30th, 2016

Flying through a Hole in the Storm: Poems (Hollis Summers Poetry Prize) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780821424445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ohio University Press - March 12th, 2021

The Woods Are On Fire: New and Selected Poems (Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry) Cover Image
By Fleda Brown, Ted Kooser (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780803294943
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: University of Nebraska Press - March 1st, 2017

No Need of Sympathy (American Poets Continuum) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938160189
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - October 1st, 2013

The Devil's Child Cover Image
ISBN: 9780887482885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Carnegie Mellon University Press - March 1st, 1999

Reunion (Wisconsin Poetry Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780299221805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Wisconsin Press - January 23rd, 2007

The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780887484032
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Carnegie Mellon University Press - March 26th, 2004