Before we start, about that cover image of the Venus Flytrap...I took it myself at a show of carnivorous plants a couple of years ago. I just like it. No other meaning, really.
So...who am I? Let's just do the official bio I give to the press before gigs...
Tony Brown has been writing for almost 50 years, and publishing and performing his work for nearly as long.
A six-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared in too many journals and anthologies to list here without his being accused of bragging, and he’d never want to do that.
He has traveled all over the country, slammed for the Worcester Poets’ Asylum, organized and hosted readings and reading series, and written extensively on poetry for various Websites and print journals. His most recent chapbook, “In The Embers,” was published by Tired Hearts Press (2016).
These days, Tony most commonly performs his poetry with The Duende Project, which includes Steven Lanning-Cafaro on electric and acoustic bass, classical guitar, and keyboards; Chris Lawton on acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin; and Chris O’Donnell on drums. They’ve spent almost 11 years performing up and down the East Coast and have released five collections of their work.
I make most of my living as a self-employed training and development consultant. After 30+ years doing that in and out of corporate settings, I'm good at it, and I do OK financially. I've always been in pursuit of a lifestyle that supported my creative work, and that means I've deliberately arranged my time to put poetry first, especially since I went out on my own.
I run a daily blog where I publish all of my completed work. Dark Matter is seen by roughly 3000 folks on a daily basis through various outlets. Every poem I complete -- and I try to complete a lot of them -- gets a pretty good chance of being seen by someone. I like that. It's a lot of work, but it's my calling.
Basically, I decided a long time ago that, knowing that there wasn't much money to be made in poetry anyway, I'd rather pursue the goal of being widely read by a lot of folks than to try and go the traditional route of publishing in small journals and putting out full volumes of work periodically.
As I've gotten older, I want to expand what I do there while following the same philosophy. I'd like to put out eBooks of small connected collections, maybe some recordings and creative videos, reinforce the work and income the band pull in, etc., so we have more equipment and options to do stuff without worrying how to support it; I'd also like to travel a bit more to do solo gigs as they come up.
Put simply, I'm getting old -- I'm 57 with a couple of nagging medical conditions -- and I have much, much more I wish to accomplish. I think I do good work, important work. I think the band does too. I want to get it out there more and do more.
That's where you come in...I hope.
Go check out the blog and the band Website (links below) if you're intrigued.
Dark Matter (the poetry blog)
The Duende Project (the band site)
I hope you decide to sign on and become part of the merry band.
If you do choose to pledge, you have my deep, deep gratitude -- and some rewards as well, of course.
If you choose not to pledge, thank you for the time you invested in checking this out.
But even if you choose not to pledge, I hope you'll choose to continue to follow the poetry and the music. The Work -- the extended act of getting what I do out there -- will continue for as long as I can do it. It's what I do. It's what I've always done. It's what I am, really.
I look forward to whatever our interaction may be in the future.