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QUARTERLY POETRY EDITOR - 2016 Q4 - Brynn Saito

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BRYNN SAITO is the author of two books of poetry, Power Made Us Swoon (2016) and The Palace of Contemplating Departure (2013), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press and finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She also co-authored, with Traci Brimhall, Bright Power, Dark Peace, a chapbook of poetry from Diode Editions. 

Brynn was born and raised in Fresno, CA to a Korean American mother and a Japanese American father. Her poetry has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicleand Virginia Quarterly Review, among other journals. She is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, a grant from the California State Library’s Civil Liberties program, a Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library, and Key West Literary Seminar’s Scotti Merrill Memorial Award.

Currently, Brynn lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco and the BA program at California Institute of Integral Studies. She also co-directs, alongside Nikiko Masumoto, the Yonsei Memory Project, based in Fresno and the Bay Area, and co-founded the Center for Spiritual Life in Palo Alto, CA. In Spring, 2018, Brynn will be a Visiting Writer in Saint Mary's College's MFA program in Moraga, CA.

Previously, Brynn was the Kundiman Writer-in-Residence in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College. She has also taught for Left Margin Lit in Berkeley and Kearny Street Workshop's Interdisciplinary Writers Lab for Bay Area writers of color. Brynn holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College (MFA, creative writing), New York University(MA, religious studies), and UC Berkeley (BA, philosophy).

"Like any good american"

January 1, 2017
Happy new year, coffee drinkers. Last week, I received an email from a Nomadic Ground customer, who received one of my poems printed and folded into her coffee bag. It was a pleasure hearing from her, and it was delightful to feel the wonderful reverberations of this fabulous poetry-and-coffee project. Last week, my family and I opened a Nomadic Ground coffee bag and read aloud together Jari Bradley's poem, "Lemonade," before sitting down to a holiday meal. Thank you to the Nomadic Ground collective of roasters, artists, and writers who bring poetry to the kitchen tables of the unsuspecting. What a gift!

 This is my last post as Nomadic Ground's poetry editor. Those of you who received coffee roasted and packed in late December found my poem, "Like Any Good American," folded into the flap. Here's a video of me reading that poem, and others, at a brunch fundraiser for Kearny Street Workshop. Happy coffee drinking to you.

"Leaving footprints on waterfalls" and "Fifth infestation"

December 27, 2016
Alan Chazaro's "Leaving Footprints on Waterfalls" and Iris A. Law's "Fifth Infestation" round out December's coffee poems. Alan was a studnet of mine in University of San Francisco's MFA program and Iris and I met through Kundiman, a wonderful nonprofit dedicated to supporting Asian American writers. 
Poet, Alan Chazaro
Poet, Alan Chazaro
Poets, Iris. A. Law and Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Poets, Iris. A. Law and Mia Ayumi Malhotra

"Family Farm" and "one kind of beauty"

December 22, 2016
I met the poet, Peter Mishler, at Bread Loaf, a writers conference, a few years back; his beautiful poem, "Family Farm," appears both in Drunken Boat and in December's coffee roasts. Peter's book of poetry is out from Sarabande books in the spring of 2018. Robin Ekiss, whose "One Kind of Beauty" was printed in mid-December coffee bags, is a fellow local Bay Area poet. Listen to Robin read from her wonderful collection, The Mansion of Happiness, below.
coffee editor nomadic ground poetry

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