Meet the Logo30: Jericho Brown

"If we can do anything, we can weather a storm."

Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2020 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.

It’s not every day that a queer Black man wins a Pulitzer Prize. This year, not one but two queer Black men took home prestigious literary honors, including Jericho Brown.

The Atlanta-based poet, who also serves as the director of Emory University’s creative writing program, has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Brown won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his 2019 collection The Tradition. The work is a meditation on the terrors Black Americans grapple with every day, tackling complex topics like fatherhood, queerness, worship, and trauma. Sadly, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other recent incidents of racist violence, Brown’s evocative words feel more urgent than ever.

Speaking to Logo and NewNowNext, Brown shared an inspiring message of hope for the LGBTQ community amid the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing protests against systemic racism and police brutality. The out poet plans to use this unprecedented moment in time to reflect, and he encourages other queer folks to do the same.

“I know that we are not new to difficulty,” he said. “If we can do anything, we can weather a storm. If we can do anything, we can have a good time no matter what.”

Watch interviews with the 2020 Logo30 honorees, including Brown, below.
 

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella