In happy news: “The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems” by Molly McCully Brown, the current and inaugural recipient of The Oxford American Literary Project’s Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, got rightfully lauded again by the New York Times. Dwight Garner, after gushing about the poems in a review earlier this year, named the book among the best of 2017.
“Brown’s blank verse is supple yet restrained; it contains all its essential oils,” Garner writes. “In its formal design, and in its interest in art and history, the book resembles a slender ghost version of James Agee’s text for ‘Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.'”
Brown, as a Baskin Fellow, is working on her first book of creative non-fiction and holds an editorial fellowship at the Oxford American here in Little Rock. The book will be a continuation of her manuscript “What We Are” which, she said, will evolve into “a collection of personal essays which approach, from a variety of angles, my evolving understanding of the intersection between the physical body and that intangible other I have come to call the soul.”