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


Beside the tree

Beside the chair

Beside the house

Beside the pit

Beside the tree stump

Coco say don’t climb / so I don’t / I sit & stare — my skin coming dark and burnt

They say: tire

I say: brown

They say: Black Black can’t take back!

& I don’t

I learnt to not ask where I’m from

I learn to listen, then not

I’m too scared they gone tell me the things about myself

              I done already buried in the dark

Beside the tree  Beside the chair     Beside the house    Beside the pit

Beside the tree stump         I sit       I sit        I sit        ’til no one even know I’m (t)here






Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Body & Body Image


Intersectionality & Culture

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


a break between words within a metrical foot


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic