Brynn Saito, MA, MFA, 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 Award from Red Hen Press and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She also co-authored, with Traci Brimhall, the poetry chapbook, Bright Power, Dark Peace (Diode Editions, 2016). Brynn is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the English Department at California State University, Fresno.
Brynn is a Kundiman Asian American poetry fellow and a two-time recipient of the California State Library’s Civil Liberties Public Education grant for her work with Yonsei Memory Project (YMP). Founded in 2017 with farmer, artist, and writer, Nikiko Masumoto, YMP utilizes arts-based inquiry to generate dialogue connecting the WWII incarceration of the Japanese American community with current struggles for justice. In the summer of 2019, Brynn will be an artist-in-residence at the Santa Fe Arts Institute (SFAI) as part of SFAI’s “Truth and Reconciliation” residency program.
Recently, Brynn was featured in Vogue.com in “Memory Keepers: Japanese American Internment Survivors and Descendants Speak Out” and was a recipient of a 2019 Densho Artists Initiative grant. She also provided the voice-over narration for the Emmy-winning PBS documentary, Silent Sacrifice: Stories of Japanese American Incarceration.
Brynn is a fourth generation Japanese American and Korean American born and raised in Fresno, California. Her poetry has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Brynn has taught in Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writers Lab for emerging writers of color; she’s also been a visiting writer in the MFA programs at University of San Francisco, Sierra Nevada College, Saint Mary’s College of California, and California Institute of Integral Studies. Brynn holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College (MFA, creative writing), New York University (MA, religious studies), and UC Berkeley (BA, philosophy).