Kurt Brown was the founding director of the Aspen Writers' Conference, now in its thirty-seventh year; founding director of Writers' Conferences & Centers (a national association of directors) now in its twentieth year; past editor of Aspen Anthology; and past president of the Aspen Writers' Foundation. He served on the board of Sarabande Books for many years, and is currently on the board of Poets House in New York.
His poems have appeared in many literary periodicals, including the Ontario Review, the Berkeley Poetry Review, the Southern Poetry Review, the Massachusetts Review, the Indiana Review, the Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Kansas Quarterly, Crazyhorse, and Rattapallax.
He was the editor of three annuals: The True Subject (Graywolf Press 1994), Writing it Down for James (Beacon Press 1995), and Facing the Lion (Beacon Press 1996) which gather outstanding lectures from writers' conferences and festivals as part of the Writers on Life & Craft Series. He is also the editor of Drive, They Said: Poems about Americans and Their Cars (1994), Verse & Universe: Poems About Science and Mathematics (1998), and co-editor with his wife, poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar, of Night Out: Poems About Hotels, Motels, Restaurants & Bars (1997), all from Milkweed Editions. In addition, he is the editor of The Measured Word: On Poetry & Science, from the University of Georgia Press in 2001, and a co-editor of the tribute anthology for the late William Matthews, Blues for Bill, published by University of Akron Press in 2005. He is also co-editor of Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems, and Killer Verse: Poems of Murdera and Mayhem, both from Alfred A. Knopf (Everyman's Library Pocket Series, 2007).
He authored six chapbooks: The Lance & Rita Poems, which won the Sound Post Press competition in Columbia, Missouri (1994); Recension of the Biblical Watchdog, which won the Anamnesis Poetry Chapbook Competition (1997); A Voice in the Garden: Poems of Sandor Tack published by Beyond Baroque Literary / Arts Center (1998); Mammal News (Pudding House Press 2000); Fables from the Ark, which won the Woodland Press Poetry Chapbook Competition (2002), and Sincerest Flatteries: A Little Book of Imitations, published by Tuplelo Press in the Masters' Series (2007)
His first full-length collection of poems, Return of the Prodigals, was published by Four Way Books in 1999. A second collection, More Things in Heaven and Earth, was published by Four Way Books in 2002. A third collection, Fables from the Ark, which won the 2003 Custom Words Prize, was published by WordTech, and a fourth, Future Ship, was published by Red Hen Press in 2007, followed by a second volume, No Other Paradise, in 2010.
A book of translations, with his wife Laure-Anne Bosselaar, entitled The Plural of Happiness: Selected Poems of Herman de Coninck, was published in the Field Translation Series in 2006. He is currently working on translating a book-length selection of the poetry of Louis Aragon.
He taught poetry workshops and craft classes at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York for many years and was recently the McEver Visiting Chair in Writing at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia and a visiting writer at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.