Poet and critic Ron Slate has written an in-depth review of Nickole Brown's 2015 collection Fanny Says. Focusing on Brown's language, form, and personal stake in her writing, Slate calls the collection "cross-genre with a purpose." "Although the poems illuminate Fanny’s life and behavior, Fanny Says is an acknowledgement and appreciation of an inheritance, the poet’s striving 'to keep alive a fierce and singular part of myself that lives only through her,' as Brown remarked in an interview . . . Fanny Says is animated by the elemental principles of presence--the unique habits of an individual and the flaring of its influence through language." Fanny Says resists categorization and nostalgia. According to the review, "Brown isn’t a sentimentalist nor does she dismiss ambiguity for some muzzy unifying principle. What Fanny says and how she says it are paramount here . . . The granddaughter honors the matriarch not through emulation but observation immune to the typical acids of generational judgment. The child learned early to exert her own self by being one’s own difference among differences. As one of the poems’ governing co-presences, she underscores her own interests--sound, tone, story, and the habits of honest work with words . . . Converted into language for the telling, each piece assumes its own shape. "Richly conceived, Fanny Says is dense with material yet welcoming in its spirited shape-shifting." The complete review is available at RonSlate.com. Fanny Says is currently available at the BOA Bookstore.
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