Mahogany L. Browne


Mahogany L. Browne was born in Oakland, California. She received an MFA in writing and activism from the Pratt Institute. She is the author of several poetry collections and chapbooks, including Kissing Caskets (YesYes Books, 2017), Smudge (Button Poetry, 2016), Redbone (Aquarius Press, 2015) and #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online (Penmanship Books, 2010). She is also the author of the children’s books Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice (Roaring Brook Press, 2020); Black Girl Magic (Roaring Brook Press, 2018); and Woke Baby (Roaring Brook Press, 2018). In addition, she is the editor of His Rib: Stories, Poems & Essays by HER (Penmanship Books, 2007). Browne is the founder and publisher of Penmanship Books, which she created “as the answer to the performance poet’s publishing problem.” An award-winning performance poet, she is also active in the spoken word community. She has released five LPs of her work and has served as the poetry program director and Friday Night Slam curator for the Nuyorican Poets Café. Browne has received fellowships from the Arts for Justice Fund, Air Serenbe, Cave Canem, Mellon Research, Rauschenberg, and Poets House, among other honors and awards. She is the Executive Director of Bowery Poetry Club, Artistic Director of Urban Word NYC, and Poetry Coordinator at St. Francis College. She is also the founder of Woke Baby Book Fair and is completing her first book of essays on mass incarceration, investigating its impact on women and children. Browne is the Guest Editor for a special series of Poem-a-Day from July 20–July 31, 2020, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Source

excerpt from “Country of Water”

I know who I am because I believe it

I know

I know

Who I

Who I




In three’s we will come

A drip of water moving against a boulder

Water slow and steady can turn rock

Into a pebble

Like anxiety

Like self-doubt



Until gone

Let your love for yourself be the water

Be the rise

Be the mist

Let you be






Literary Movements:


Spoken Word

Anthology Years:




Literary Devices:


words or phrases repeated one after another in quick succession


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”