Born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks, D.F. Brown served as a medic with Bravo, 1/14th Infantry in Vietnam, 1969–70. Educated at the University of Missouri and San Francisco State University, he is the author of Returning Fire, The Other Half of Everything, and Assuming Blue. His work has been anthologized in American War Poetry, Carrying the Darkness, and Unaccustomed Mercy. Brown lives in Houston.
Praise for Ghost of a Person Passing in Front of the Flag
War is chaos. Combat is an incoherent jumble of grunts and screams and shards and fragments and flashes and fears. It is not linear, it does not make sense, and its aftermath leaves no solid line between what was and what is. Yet poets for centuries have tried to impose order on what is simply not orderly. This is the great—and truly unique—achievement of D.F. Brown: his poems are disorderly. They are jagged, jarring, disturbing, unsettling. They begin in the middle and end nowhere. They confound time and geography. They are haunting, baffling, troubling. You want to know what war is like? Immerse yourself in these poems. They are brilliant.
Editor Carrying the Darkness: The Poetry of the
The Vietnam War seems never to go away. Indeed for many, its events are more real than what moves around us, whenever "the wind whispers its old story," and we see again the “big blonde kid from Kansas” who “shook like a leaf/'til he flopped like a fish/...on the jungle floor.” D.F. Brown, former medic, assiduous poet, wily storyteller, has written one of the flat-out, best books to come out of that war.
Author of After Our War and
Remembering Heaven's Face
Daniel Peña, The Poetics of Directness in D. F. Brown’s Ghost of a Person Passing in Front of the Flag, in Ploughshares.
Jonathan McGregor, “Between history and a hard place”: Benjamin Hertwig’s Slow War and D.F. Brown’s Ghost of a Person Passing in Front of the Flag,” in War, Literature & the Arts.
“The poems — more than 40 short verses and one longer piece — reach across a life, though they meditate also on unknowable things bigger than one’s time on Earth.” –Andrew Dansby from The Houston Chronicle
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