Offering both subtle and immediate pleasures, Lee Ann Brown’s generous new book extends her unmistakable, original voice, every bit as Southern as it is avant-garde, gracious without being naive. Abounding in a playfulness of style, including songs and ballads, the poems in The Sleep That Changed Everything are by turns funny, serious, insightful and moving. Botanical and scientific language are used here as collage elements to chart cycles of desire and emotional transformation. Brown is committed to Whitman’s idea that we all have many selves; thus her work embraces the immediacy of the New York School, the personal and literary wildness of the Beats, the word play and political astuteness of Language poetry and an eroticism all her own. In poems that are both highly literate and plain-spoken, Brown makes the life of the soul directly available in all its renegade garb.