Spotlight series #77 : Simon Brown

rob mclennan
2 min readSep 5, 2022

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.


Poetry is an attempt. An attempt on (my) life? This isn’t an original thought, but still. When I really think about it, it seems to me that each poem must surely embody its own attempt. This raises the question: “what is this particular poem attempting?” I can’t imagine this question ever having a definitive answer (and thank god·ess for that). Questions are better than answers anyway, no? A poem is a question too, come to think of it. An attempt and a question. An attempt at a question, maybe? So, in some sense, a poem might be a way of trying to ask a question that’s hard to ask. And impossible to answer?


chevette, baby blue, door ajar, sky blue, door ajar, what, where, is the cat, neverending sky and clouds, universe, odour control, the door is ajar


love is mystery, love is egg, broken, like a favourite dish, like a year, forgotten, ninety-two, emulsifying, dripping, yes, through shroud, through gum, sugar-free, ungolden, egg, love, whole, like a one, ninety-one, yes, an era, ending, like a fingertip, in soup, in snow, three feet deep, fourteen inches, melted, broken, yes, but the omelette, in mystery shrouded, yes, a shroud, i mean, a dishtowel

Simon Brown (he/they) [photo credit : Pavel Pavlov] is a self-taught poet and translator from rural southwestern New Brunswick (Peskotomuhkati lands), now based, in the Quebec City area (Wendat and Abenaki traditional territory). Simon’s texts have been presented in media artworks, collaborative performances, and operettas, and via platforms such as Lemon Hound, Train, Estuaire, Vallum, Poetry Is Dead, Watts, filling Station, and The Fiddlehead. He also regularly gives writing workshops to participants of all ages and backgrounds. As a translator, Simon has adapted texts by Lisa Jarnot, Maude Pilon, Angela Carr, Huguette Gaulin and Nicole Raziya Fong, among others. His collections, chapbooks and artist’s books have been published in Quebec, Canada and France by Le laps, Vanloo, squint, Moult, and Frog Hollow. Simon’s latest chapbook, oh the iffy night, was published by above/ground press in fall 2021.