In this special edition of Jericho Brown’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Tradition,you are invited to participate in an urgent dialogue—sparked by poetry—about what it means to be human. Including a discussion guide and an interview with the author, The Tradition: Civic Dialogue Editionis meant to catalyze and inspire deep and engaging community conversations.
In 2021, the Free Library of Philadelphia selected The Traditionfor their annual city-wide reading program, choosing a book of poetry for the first time ever. The vision was for neighbor to meet neighbor and discuss—in profound and transformative ways—the difficult subjects confronted so powerfully by the poems: racism, homophobia, violence, and the human resolve to compose a joyful life. To encourage other communities—cities, schools, book groups—to follow Philadelphia’s lead, Copper Canyon Press collaborated with the Free Library to create The Tradition: Civic Dialogue Edition. The dream is to tap the power of poetry to open hearts, clarify vision, spark conversation, and help make the world a more just and equitable place. And, if we’re fortunate, to laugh as freely and share as openly as the poet himself.