Lord Brain is an extended meditation on the psyche (in its double sense of mind and soul) in its relationship to that three-pound bundle in our skull. Bruce Beasley's collection of thirty-one poems is named for Sir Walter Russell Brain, or Lord Brain (1895-1966), the eminent British neuroscientist and author of Brain's Diseases of the Nervous System. Bringing into conversation the disparate fields of neuroscience, theology, linguistics, particle physics, and theology, these poems investigate in both lyrical and scientific terms the relationship of brain to mind and soul, and of brain to the cosmos and God. Whether discussing cosmology or astrophysics, neurobiology or insect physiology, Lord Brain connects the inner cosmos of our human anatomy with the external forces (material and divine) that brought the cosmos into being.
Bruce Beasley, professor of English at Western Washington University, has won a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. Among his four previous poetry collections are Summer Mystagogia (selected by Charles Wright for the 1996 Colorado Prize in Poetry) and Signs and Abominations.