A Place Where Trees Had Names by Les Brown
"In these fine poems, Les Brown vividly resurrects not only a lost childhood but also a lost worldof Appalachian family farms. Elegiac but not sentimental, A Place Where Trees Had Names is a memorable reading experience."
"The poems in Les Brown’s A Place Where Trees Had Names are as carefully crafted as the unique pottery one might discover at one of his exhibitions. But like most poetry of significance, it’s not just the polished form, but the range of knowledge and emotion that Brown, as a scientist, artist, and thinker brings to this vivid portrayal of a Blue Ridge childhood that creates a dazzling experience for the readers."
—Tim Peeler, author of West of Mercy and Checking Out
"A Place Where Trees Had Names is a beautiful, debut collection. It is an homage to the ghosts of laughter, of work, the grapple of place and the hardened skeletons left to rust in the fields, the way past falls to present—a falling that is not sudden, but slow like the burn it takes to thaw the pump in the winter. What was once turned by hand and hoof, gives over to the machine, and yet everything will die in its own way. These poems hold sentry to remind us the cruel beauty of place—that no matter our claim to an ancestry or a memory, we cannot truly claim what the dead have already sweated and bled for it. Simply put, place will always belong to those who came before us. And we are better for remembering that, if nothing else."
—Ray McManus, author of Red Dirt Jesus and Punch
Les Brown's book is a sensory and literary journey of his coming of age on a family farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He blends his love of the farm, mountains and family with the hardships and sorrows he experienced.
Les Brown is a retired biology professor who is a writer, artist and potter. His short stories, poetry and art have appeared in journals including Kakalak, Potato Soup Journal, Pinesong, Moonshine Review, and Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel. He is a Pushcart nominee. Les lives with his wife, Joyce, and cat in Troutman.