Nickole Brown is the author of Sister and Fanny Says. She teaches as part of the Sewanee School of Letters Program and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she volunteers at several different animal sanctuaries. Since 2016, she’s been writing about these animals, resisting the kind of pastorals that made her (and many of the working-class folks from the Kentucky that raised her) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it. To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of these first nine poems, won the 2018 Rattle Prize, and her essay-in-poems, The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. In 2021, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with her wife Jessica Jacobs, and they regularly teach generative writing sessions together as part of their SunJune Literary Collaborative.
Brown was named President of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, effective July 1, 2022.
Before Miles passed, he had long discussions with Nickole about the possible future of the festival in her hands and was pleased to appoint her as his successor. He wrote: “My time at the helm of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival these past nineteen years have been thrilling and rewarding. Poetry has made my later years in life joyful and enriched, and while ending this chapter of my life feels like a door closing, I’m proud of what’s been accomplished. . . . This is a bittersweet new chapter, but I’m pleased to see this legacy carried forward.”
Nickole said, “Because of the gifts of the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, I’ve come into my own as a poet and teacher, and this is my way to pay back what I’ve received. It’s my aim to assure that what Miles started—along with the help of his dear friends, poets Thomas Lux and Kurt Brown—continues to evolve and thrive. I want to see the Festival continue to provide the kind of nurturing community I’ve found there, a true home for any poet serious about words and what they can do in the world.”