Coming Summer 2018
Paperback, 48 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-44-1
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Missy Brownson resides in Georgetown,
Kentucky, and works in the capital city of
Frankfort as a communications professional.
Before moving to the Bluegrass region, Missy
served as co-producer and co-emcee of the
Third Tuesday Writers Coffeehouse in
Owensboro, Kentucky. Her work has
appeared in
The Lumberyard Magazine, The
Louisville Review
, Open 24 Hours, and The
Heartland Review
, where her work was
awarded “finalist” and “honorable mention”
designations for the 2010 Joy Bale Boone
Poetry Prize. Her work has also been  
distributed via the email poetry service of,
Every Day Poems.
Missy lives with her good husband and some
bad cats.  

Find at more at
In this accomplished and sure first collection, poet Missy Brownson revisits the
venerable genre of domestic advice manuals, those 19th and 20th century compendia
of wisdom designed to guide women (especially aspiring women of the rising middle
class) in the exercise of their proper roles in the home and society. Her response is a
wicked and witty rejoinder from the perspective of a contemporary woman navigating
the changing and challenging terrain of gender expectations and sexual politics and

The contrast can be hilarious, as in the poem “On Buying Produce”, where a snippet
of Victorian era advice on “the ripeness of Fruits” prefaces an encounter with a
former lover in the grocery, “a man / that was once a boy / whose hands memorized
my body / in borrowed beds.”

    I hold the avocado over his palm,
    release its weight,
    fill his fingers with
    ever-softening flesh.

But there is a seriousness to this venture, especially in the poems in the concluding
section, “Good Daughter Wants”:

    A daddy that can stand up.
    A mother that won’t walk away.
    . . .

    To bend at the waist
    without breaking.

There is just a hint of nostalgic regret here, that there are no guides, no easy advice,
for this most essential woman's work of finding her way in the world,

    . . . to free that girl,
    the one
    least expected but
    most likely to.

Praise for Hush Candy:

Hush Candy brings us a gasping fish, a sexy encounter with an avocado, Pop Rocks,
“a tongue crackling,” fingers “sticky with rosin,” legs in a “lingering vibrato,” and a
speaker who longs for “gold stars to fill/the blue-lined horizon” as she learns “to bend
at the waist/without breaking.”  But what is most enchanting is, as Eliot wrote, the
experience of reading “with your ear.” We are greeted with sounds like the “silent
ma ma ma,” the “thrum of…grilled grips,” “hoodlum heroes on ten-speed steeds,”
and “meat neat and tamed on tines.” This is a heartbreaking collection of a Southern
woman trying to find her way while navigating the expectations of a ‘well behaved’
woman. The book succeeds in being, also, hopeful. We are left with a strong voice
finding its way within an elegant lyricism. This is a gorgeous first collection for Missy
Brownson—one I will recommend often.

                        —Kelly Moffett, author of
Waiting for a Warm Body to Fill It

Hush, Candy
is a marvelous collection, full of fun, sass, and splendid rebellion. I
certainly recognize the times past when, in Missy Bronson’s moving words, I’ve been
called to “slip into the tight skin of the person you give the world,” and thus I’m made
all the merrier when these poems prod me to flee the bonds of propriety.

                        —Kathleen Driskell, author of
Blue Etiquette
Hush Candy
A poetry chapbook by
Cover artwork & design by Jeremy Wooldridge