Build Me a Boat: Words for Music 1968 – 2018

Build Me a Boat gathers a selection of the words that poet Michael Dennis Browne has written for music over the past fifty years. Working with a number of different composers, Browne has ranged widely across forms; what we discover here are lyrics, song cycles, songs for children, excerpts from libretti—some of them in free verse, some of them formal—as well as poems that, while not written to be part of specific musical works, were nonetheless written with music in mind or under the influence of particular works. The result is a volume that sits comfortably between poetry and music, lyrical and rhythmic and memorable.

November 2020, Carnegie Mellon University Press Poetry Series

Available from The University of Chicago Press Books
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Chimes: selected short poems

In this volume Michael Dennis Browne has gathered together short poems from every phase of his long career into chapters focusing on childhood, nature, private anxieties and irrationalities, extended family, and other themes variously spacious and personal. Some have the ring of nursery rhymes, others the melancholy lilt of an elegy, the blunt force of an occasional poem by Yeats, or the enigmatic resonance of a  passage from scripture. There are times when a few phrases can conjure an indelible moment of experience, and perhaps an entire universe, though the reader must fill in the blanks. We meet up with such moments repeatedly in the pages of this compact and powerful collection

Nodin Press, 2017
134 pp.
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The Voices

One of the main themes is the essential presence of music and music-making in the world; “I would never go into the dark without the voices,” as the title poem says. The book also includes a number of elegies for departed family members and friends in balance with poems that celebrate existence—“love your life,” as the final (wedding) poem insists. The epigraph at the beginning of the book suggests the way we all must live in contradiction.

The book is dedicated to Stephen Paulus.

Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015
5 1/2 x 8 1/2″ Poetry
112 pp
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Read “The Voices by Michael Dennis Browne: An Appreciation” by Peter Clothier

The Turning of the Stones
Self-published, PMN Press
(middle grade novel)
What the Poem Wants: Prose on Poetry

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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Indulgence Press
standard and deluxe editions

Things I Can’t Tell You

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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Give Her the River

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Picture book
paintings by Wendell Minor

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Greatest Hits: 1965-2000

Pudding House Publication

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Selected Poems: 1965-1995

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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You Won’t Remember This

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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Smoke from the Fires

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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The Sun Fetcher

Carnegie Mellon University Press

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Sun Exercises

Red Studio Press

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The Wife of Winter

Scriber’s, New York

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