To Those Who Were Our First Gods

To Those Who Were Our First Gods

Nickole Brown, Author

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of poetry by Asheville’s Nickole Brown, has been published by Rattle magazine after winning its recent chapbook competition. The nine poems are part of a full-length manuscript currently under consideration for publication.

“For the past three years, I’ve been investigating the complex, interdependent and often fraught relationship between human and nonhuman animals,” Brown says. She devoted time to readings on the subject, but also volunteered at Animal Haven, Appalachian Wild, Heart of Horse Sense and WNC Nature Center.

“These poems focus on the experience of creatures in a world shaped (and, increasingly, destroyed) by us,” Brown says. “They have their sight set upon the natural world, but I don’t see them as poems of privilege that gaze out the window from a place of comfortable remove. No, what I aim for are the kind of pastorals that always made me (and most of the working-class folks from my Kentucky childhood) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it; instead they speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature: beautiful, damaged, dangerous and in desperate need of saving.”

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, chapbook, December, 2018, poetry, paperback, $6, by Nickole Brown, and published by Rattle magazine, Studio City, CA. To learn more, visit Brown will read from her new work at Asheville Wordfest. To learn more about readings in May, visit

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