As the Crow Flies

John Brown

About the book…

Although deeply rooted in the traditions of the well-crafted lyric, John Brown’s As the Crow Flies sings with a delightful contemporarity absorbing such influences as concrete verse and American beat poetry to produce a new and refreshing voice in northern Irish letters. 

Remarkable in his technical assurance, Brown is fully at home with the short lyric and, in his formidable sequence exploring the cultural and imaginative legacies of life in the north of Ireland, Cuchulainn Unbound, with the necessary poetic and intellectual rigours of the longer poem. 

The voice of this collection echoes, but is not in thrall to, such diverse exemplars as Seamus Heaney, T.S. Eliot, Ginsberg and Padraic Fiacc, creating a satisfying and energetic poetic dialogue between the past and the present. The poems’ central persona shows a sensibility slightly at odds with the unrealities of ordinary life with an ironical stance shot through with passion, humour and self-awareness.

Photo of the author, John Brown

About the author…

John Brown was born in Co Derry in 1961. He studied English literature at Bristol University and Scottish literature at Edinburgh University, edited a poetry magazine (Gown Literary Supplement) in the 1980s in Belfast and has continued to write articles on poetry and visual art for journals and magazines both within and beyond Ireland. 

He was employed as Literature Officer with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for several years.

He edited In the Chair: Interviews with Poets from the North of Ireland (2002), interviews with 22 leading Northern Irish poets, Magnetic North: The Emerging Poets (2006),collection of new poetry from Northern Ireland and A Feather on a Finger: Selected Poems of Matt Ewart (2004).

He is currently Writer-in-Residence at Magilligan Prison.