THE PALACE OF CONTEMPLATING DEPARTURE was the winner of the 2011 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. It's available for purchase via Red Hen's website, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or at one of my readings. [Download the press kit].
From the first pages of this brilliant new book readers will find a tough and vital vision that goes well beyond the personal, touching on aspects of American life you won’t have found expressed with such contemporary freshness and verve elsewhere. In one of her poems Brynn Saito writes, ‘It’s done: never again in my life / will I be only one thing.’ It’s her strong sense of mutability, even metamorphosis, I find most compelling. Real poetry by a real poet—one I expect to be reading for years to come.
This is a sacred internal travel, carving its mighty shadow on the world. How vibrant is the voice of Brynn Saito; how angelic, bestial, seductive, and divine. An offering of the highest order, written in sanctuary, a promise on the tongue, a litany of urgent prayers.
Saito proves a brave and whip-smart guide to recount journeys (both forced and chosen) around the word and the world. With a lyrical insistence gracing these pages, these alluring poems will both terrify and entrance in such a way that when you finally look up and close the book, you will have to wonder when and where you are. A dazzling and gorgeous debut!
The chapbook, BRIGHT POWER, DARK PEACE, co-written with Traci Brimhall, was the winner of Diode Editions' 2013 chapbook prize. Read more about our collaboration here. Purchase a copy via Diode's website.
Readers are guided through the ruins of a city, and perhaps a society. The old grandeur of its bones is evoked in bright lariats of image. It is a city where hyacinths unfold themselves from the corpses of the old world into a blinding and beautiful white. Where the old windows are filled with ‘bolts of chenille and empty bobbins’ and where you can still hear the voices singing from the empty theater. In this exquisite collaboration, from the ruins are the possibilities. From the unsalvageable, what will save. The magic of Saito and Brimhall’s lyricism returns what was thought to be lost into what is, for certain, miraculous.
The poem MANZANAR, DESERT VOICES first appeared in the fall 2012 issue of the Southern Indiana Review and was reprinted as a broadside by Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, illustrated by Lauren Parquette.
Available from Diode Editions and Amazon
"Manzanar, Desert Voices", 1" x 14" / $25 via KBAC