Derrick C. Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Derrick C. Brown
Brown celebrating the construction of Write Bloody's first store in Austin
Brown celebrating the construction of Write Bloody's first store in Austin
BornDerrick Clifford Brown
(1973-02-07) February 7, 1973 (age 46)
San Francisco, California, US
OccupationPoet, Performer, Publisher
Literary movementPoetry, Publishing, Slam Poetry
Notable worksStrange Light, Born In The Year of the Butterfly Knife
RelativesSadie Marzie Mathews Brown, formerly Bush, Otto Paulsen

Derrick C. Brown is a comedian, poet/performer and founder of Write Bloody Publishing. He is the author of several books of poetry and is a popular touring author. He lived outside of Austin, Texas in Elgin, Texas and currently resides in Los Angeles.


Derrick Brown is an American storyteller, poet and publisher who most recently won the Texas Book of The Year for Poetry for his collection, Strange Light.[1] He was born February 7, 1973 in San Francisco, CA. His Father, Cliff Brown, is an Irish, German, Choctaw and Cherokee native of Texas. His Father was a former Air Force Butcher in San Francisco, CA. Cliff Brown is a retired Emu farmer, Naval dockworker/gasketmaker that worked in Long Beach, CA and now lives in Splendora, Texas. His Mother, Nancy Counts is a church counselor from San Francisco, now living in Cypress, California. His parents are divorced.[2] He has a sister and a step-father.

Brown graduated from Pacifica High School in 1991 and became a highly decorated paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina for three years from 1991-1993.[3] He was also trained in combat arms as an Airborne Artilleryman, expert M203 Grenadier, expert Humvee Driver and expert M60 marksman. He is a disabled veteran due to hearing loss from artillery while being enlisted during the First Gulf War. He studied Speech and Debate (Forensics), Playwriting and Broadcast Journalism at Cypress College, Palomar College and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Arizona.[4] Prior to beginning his career as a poet and publisher, Brown held numerous odd jobs, including a weatherman (Flagstaff Arizona, 1997),[5] a magician (Knotts Berry Farm, 1988 to 1990) , a singing gondolier (Naples, CA from 2000 to 2004)[6] and a writer and director for a children's show called Kidmo/Invision (1998- 2007).[7]


Brown was the lead singer/songwriter of the John Wilkes Kissing Booth.[8] and All Black Cinema. Most recently, he performs with musician Beau Jennings in the group "Night Reports" which focuses on haunted baseball themed music. He credits his background in independent music for much of his success with his touring career and publishing house.[9]

Poetry / Performance[edit]

Brown first discovered poetry when he was enlisted in the 82nd Airborne. His involvement with poetry escalated when he became involved with the Long Beach and Orange County Poetry Slam community. He competed at his first National Poetry Slam in 1998, where he placed second in the National Poetry Slam individual championship in 1998.[10] He began touring nationally with his poetry shortly thereafter. To date, Brown has performed at over 1800 venues and universities, including Glastonbury, La Sorbonne in Paris, CBGB's, The Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, The Mission Creek Literary Festival and The Berlin International Literary Festival.[11]

Early in his career, Brown often toured solo. However, he became known for touring and collaborating with other artists. In October 2006, Brown teamed up with poet and actress Amber Tamblyn for several poetry performances in California called The Lazers of Sexcellance.[12] In 2007, he toured Europe opening for the band Cold War Kids, chronicled in the documentary poetry concert film about him, "You Belong Everywhere." In 2009, The All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, curated by The Flaming Lips, invited Derrick Brown to be the opening act for comedian David Cross. Brown performed with The Navy Gravy.[13] IN 2006, Brown collaborated with painter Blaine Fontana for a live reading and gallery opening of new paintings based on Brown's work.[14] Brown performed as a poet on The Tonight show with Jay Leno in 2007 with Cold War Kids, Elvis Perkins and Jessica Alba.[15]

Brown was known for being an innovator in curating unique and creative poetry adventures like the Double Decker Poetry Bus Party and poetry shows at sea for Poetry Cruise, which he started in Long Beach CA, 2008.[16]

Brown is the brainchild of The Lightbulb Mouth Radio Hour. With Mindy Nettifee and later Jeremy Radin, Brown curated a new type of live literary show involving news, informationists, authors and music.[17]

Derrick has performed for the Best American Contemporary Poetry Concert series, The Drums Inside Your Chest, curated by Mindy Nettifee and Amber Tamblyn. He appears in the film of the same name. [18] The series has featured authors such as San Francisco poet laureate Jack Hirschman, Patricia Smith, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Brendan Constantine, Jeffrey McDaniel and Andrea Gibson. The title of the series is based off a line from one of Brown's poems about the Citizens of Narnia. The anniversary BCAPS show in 2011 was hosted by Derrick Brown and Comedian David Cross.[19]

In 2011, Derrick was commissioned to write a new, 40-55 minute long poem for the prestigious Noord Nederlands Dans Collective, choreographed by Juilliard alum Stephen Shropshire. The work, Instrumental, was achieved by using fourteen dancers, an orchestra, one poet and was conducted by Emily Wells and Timmy Straw.[20] It received rave reviews in the Netherlands and Canada.[21] The poem for Instrumental, Strange Light is simultaneously a cosmic love story and an auto-biographical gut-search, culls themes present throughout his poetry into a single work, where they are clarified in the light of a newfound personal vulnerability. “When you die, it is poetry that leaves the body,” Brown writes — so it follows that life is all of the poetry vibrating within the body. The poem tells the story of one such body: “a man with strange light and tiny blisses…”[22]

He is currently represented by Agent Olivia Wingate at Avalon and is booked by Robin Taylor at Inland Empire.

The Poetry Revival Tours[edit]

In 2007, Brown began touring annually with Buddy Wakefield and Anis Mojgani, calling their group “The Poetry Revival.” Each year, the group invited other popular performance poets and musicians to join them for certain legs of the tour, and altered the name slightly to reflect the changing line-up. 2007 was known as Solomon Sparrow's Electric Whale Revival. 2008 was known as Junkyard Ghost Revival. 2009 was known the Elephant Engine High Dive Revival. And 2010 was known as the Night Kite Revival.The Poetry Revival. These poetry events were performed to large, enthusiastic crowds all across the United States. [23]

Write Bloody Publishing[edit]

In 2004, Brown started Write Bloody Publishing, an independent press founded in Nashville, TN. It moved headquarters to Long Beach, CA and in 2012, moved it again to Austin, Texas. The press is known for publishing established and emerging poets, and each author must tour annually. Write Bloody is known as being at the forefront of innovative Independent Publishing and has released 90 volumes of poetry, including books by Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojgani, Taylor Mali, Andrea Gibson, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz and Beau Sia, among others. The books are distributed internationally by SCB distributors. Brown is quoted as saying that he utilizes a rock and roll, record label indie model for running his publishing company.[7]

In 2012, Brown's press, Write Bloody Publishing was asked to curate the WordXWord festival in Pittsfield Massachusetts.[24]

In 2012, Brown launched The Shelf Life Poetry project to send poetry books that would otherwise be shredded to homeless shelters, prisons and underfunded youth writing programs.[25]

In 2012, Brown opened up the first all poetry, physical bookshop just for his press, called Write Bloody, in Austin, Texas.[26]

In 2013, Brown began touring with Eugene Mirman of Bob's Burgers.

In 2014, Brown was the voice of Mappy in Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Books in Print[edit]

  • I Love You Is Back (Write Bloody Publishing)[29]
  • Born in the Year of the Butterfly Knife[30] (Write Bloody Publishing)
  • Scandalabra: Poetry & Prose[31] (Write Bloody Publishing)
  • Strange Light[33] (Write Bloody Publishing) 2012
  • Our Poison Horse, Write Bloody Publishing 2014
  • How the Body Works the Dark, not a cult., 2017[27]
  • Hello, it doesn't matter. (Write Bloody Publishing) 2018


Children's Books (Write Fuzzy Publishing)[edit]

  • Hot Hands and Ralph In The Weirdo Winter
  • I Looooove You, Whale!
  • Valentine The Porcupine Dances Funny


Collections in which Derrick Brown's work is included:

  • Amalgamate, The art of Blaine Fontana (Zero+ Publishing) 2011 978-0982246153
  • Elephant Engine High Dive Revival (Write Bloody Publishing), 2009; ISBN 0-9821488-9-5)
  • The Good Things About America (Write Bloody Publishing), 2009; ISBN 978-0-9821488-1-5)
  • Junkyard Ghost Revival (Write Bloody Publishing), 2008; ISBN 0-9815213-6-3)
  • Spoken Word Revolution, Redux (Sourcebooks) 978-1402208690
  • The Last American Valentine (Write Bloody Publishing), 2007; ISBN 0-9789989-7-9)
  • So Luminous The Wildflowers, (Tebot Bach)
  • Beyond The Valley of The Contemporary Poets (VCP, 1999)
  • Blue Arc West, (Tebot Bach)
  • Planet Slam, (German)
  • Poetry Slam (Manic D Press, 2000; ISBN 0-916397-66-1)
  • Aim For The Head, An Anthology of Zombie Poetry (Write Bloody Publishing)
  • Learn Then Burn. Poems For The Classroom (Write Bloody Publishing)



  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Best Local Poet, OC Weekly, 2000
  • AFA Winner Poetry, 1997[34]
  • AFA Palomar College, CC Champion[34]
  • Two time winner of the Army Achievement Medal
  • Expert Marksman, Grenadier, Driver, M60 award, 1991-1993
  • Bank of America award for Drama, 1991[35]

Film Awards[edit]

Winner – Crystal Heart Award, 2011 Heartland Film Festival Winner – Best Short Film, 2012 Boulder International Film Festival Winner – Best Short Film, 2012 Maui Film Festival Winner – CINE Golden Eagle Award, Fall 2011 Winner – CINE Special Jury Award, Best Short Film, 2011 Winner – CINE Master's Series Award, Best Independent Production, 2011 Winner – Best Film, 2011 San Jose Short Film Festival Winner – Best Film, 2012 Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival Winner – Best Film, Best Directors, Audience Favorite, 2011 Milwaukee Short Film Festival Winner – Best Film, Audience Favorite, 2012 Love Your Shorts Film Festival Winner – Best Short Film, 2012 Sacramento International Film Festival Winner – Best Short Experimental Film, 2012 Sonoma International Film Festival Winner – Audience Favorite, 2011 DC Shorts Film Festival Winner – Audience Favorite, 2012 Tumbleweed Film Festival Winner – Audience Favorite, 2012 Rochester International Film Festival Winner – Best Drama, 2012 Dam Short Film Festival Winner – Best Experimental Film, 2011 Miami Short Film Festival Winner – Best Experimental Film, 2011 Illinois International Film Festival Winner – Best Experimental Film, 2012 Big Easy International Film and Music Festival Winner – Best Experimental Film, 2012 River Bend International Film Festival Winner – Best Editing, 2012 Festivus Film Festival Winner – Gold Award, 2012 Media Film Festival Winner – Award of Merit, 2011 Best Shorts Competition Winner – Best “Open” Film, 2012 The MIX International Short Film Festival Winner - Most Inspiring Film, 2012 Couch Fest Films (For the short film based on Brown's poem, A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Writers League of Texas".
  2. ^ "MY Life Network"
  3. ^ "Ventura County Star"
  4. ^ "Minnesota State University" Archived 2010-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Derrick Brown as a weatherman for newswatch 4". YouTube.
  6. ^ "Derrick Brown on Blind Date". YouTube.
  7. ^ a b "Write Bloody lends a hand to local poets".
  8. ^ "You'll Want More". OC Weekly. 2006-04-06. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  9. ^ "Bandwagon: Night Reports - Dixie Downturn".
  10. ^ "Slam Winners". The Salt Lake Tribune. 1998-08-30. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  11. ^ "Poets and Writers Magazine
  12. ^ "Upright Citizens Brigade"
  13. ^ "All Tomorrow's Parties"
  14. ^ Curtco/Sdm, L.L.C. (May 2006). San Diego Magazine.
  15. ^ " "> cold war kids – perform "hospital beds" on the tonight show - drivebyMEDIA - Page 3". drivebyMEDIA.
  16. ^ "Poetry Cruise". Archived from the original on 2011-02-08.
  17. ^ ERIN DEWITT (18 March 2010). "Lightbulb Mouth Radio Hour". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010.
  18. ^ "The Drums Inside Your Chest (2009)". IMDb. 1 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Amber Tamblyn's Drums Inside Your Chest Series at Largo Looks For Poetry That's 'Punk' and 'Dangerous'". LA Weekly.
  20. ^ "Derrick. C. Brown's laugh-out-loud poetry - Cultureel Studentencentrum Usva". Cultureel Studentencentrum Usva.
  21. ^ "Press Plus" Archived 2013-01-31 at
  22. ^ "8 Weekly Magazine" Archived 2013-05-23 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Huge poetry event coming Monday: Elephant Engine High Dive Revival".
  24. ^ Jeremy Goodwin. "Word X Word Festival in Pittsfield". News.
  25. ^ "Write Now Poetry Society"
  26. ^ "Search - The Austin Chronicle".
  27. ^
  29. ^ Derrick Brown. "I Love You Is Back". Goodreads.
  30. ^ "BOOK REVIEW: Derrick Brown bares it all in 'Butterfly Knife'". University Wire. 2006-07-26. Retrieved 2008-04-09.[dead link]
  31. ^ "Amazon Reviews"
  32. ^ "Amazon Reviews"
  33. ^ "Amazon Reviews"
  34. ^ a b "American Forensics
  35. ^ "School Soup

External links[edit]