James Brown was born in 1966 and lives in Wellington with his partner and two children. His poems have been widely published in magazines in both New Zealand and Australia. He is a past winner of the Takahe Poetry Competition and a former Editor of the literary magazine Sport.
His most recent collection isWarm Auditorium (2012). The Year of the Bicycle was published to acclaim in 2006. LEAFSALON said Brown's fourth collection of poems keeps up his superlative standard and The Wellingtonian called him Wellington's Godfather of Soul-poetry. It was named as one of three titles shortlisted for Poetry in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2007.
His first book of poetry, Go Round Power Please, was shortlisted in the 1996 The Montana NZ Book Awards and won the Best First Book Award for Poetry. His second collection, Lemon, was published in 1999, with Elizabeth Knox calling it 'perhaps the year's best New Zealand book'. In August 2002 Favourite Monsters was published, James' third collection.
James Brown also writes short fiction. His stories have appeared in Sport, Landfall, The Picnic Virgin (VUP) and Boys' Own Stories, and have also been broadcast on National Radio.
He has been the recipient of several writing fellowships, including the 1994 Louis Johnson New Writers Bursary and a share of the 2000 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship. In 2001 he was the Canterbury University Writer in Residence, and in 2002 he was one of four NZ writers shortlisted for the inaugural Prize in Modern Letters. James was the Victoria University of Wellington Writer in Residence in 2004.
‘This year’s most fabulous book cover encloses what is, for me, possibly the year’s best New Zealand book. James Brown’s latest book of poems, Lemon, has teeth and claws, poetic sensibility, and stimulating peculiarities.’ – Elizabeth Knox, Listener
‘You may not be using it to blond your hair this summer, but James Brown’s Lemon is remarkably versatile. These poems are political and personal and cryptic and funny and strange, and their freshness is guaranteed.’ – Kate Camp, Listener