Visiting Kent Brown

Hi everyone,

Kent Brown passed through Springfield yesterday on his way to Texas. We had a good visit, went out to eat, and Kent spent the night with us. This morning he’ll be on his way.

I met Kent in 1991 in his office in Honesdale, Pennsylvania where he served Highlights as head of the fledgling book division, Boyds Mills Press. Bee Cullinan, who was his poetry editor, wanted to publish my poetry so Kent and I met to discuss details. We agreed that I was free to go on placing my other work wherever I wished but that Kent would be my exclusive poetry publisher. We shook hands to seal the bargain.

I came home and got busy. Larry Rosler became my editor and together we created more than twenty books over the next several years, many of them poetry, some nonfiction, and some fiction. I returned to Honesdale from time to time and years later I went there to give poetry workshops at “The Barn.”

When David Harrison Elementary School was named for me, Kent and his wife, Jody, flew to Springfield to support me on that special night. I consider Kent Brown to be a pioneer in children’s publishing for establishing Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press dedicated to poetry. Thanks to his dedication and tireless efforts, many poets have found their voices and careers have been bolstered or begun. These days he is no longer involved in the Highlights operations. I understand but am sorry that the industry has lost the services of such a giant in children’s literature.

8 comments on “Visiting Kent Brown

  1. He is still a creative force, as are you. You can’t help it but to move writers and illustrators by your spoken and written words, your rhythm and discoveries! All done, forever young! (on your overnights and pajama parties!) I’m the fly on the wall…

    • Dear Fly, You are welcome on my wall anytime. Kent plans to remain in Texas for some time. I hope when he comes back through he’ll stay with us again. I always learn something from him.

  2. Looooog ago when Kent Brown called and asked me to be on the Highlights Chautauqua conference, I asked him if he had the right person. He assured me he did. What a joy to meet him. I will never forget his kindnesses to me. You lucky duck, David, to get to visit with him again.

    • Hi, Yvona. Kane publishing bought Boyds Mills Press and the new imprint is called Boyds Mills & Kane. More books to come.

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