I wrote a short piece on the first book for the Red Hen Press blog. "If writing is an act of solitude—a wildly lonely feat—then the book has been a boat, a way of carrying my solitude into the wider world." Read on here.
Thank you, NewPages and Theresé Samson Wenham for posting a review of The Palace of Contemplating Departure. "In her debut collection, Brynn Saito carries uncertainties and measures them out against the known and the unknown. Saito finds an enthralling voice for complex emotions about race, war, identity, scars, ghosts, family, and suffering." Read on at NewPages.
Thank you to Wendy and Lantern Review for a wonderful conversation. As I note in the interview, "both my experience in the Kundiman fellowship and my friendship with Traci Brimhall have taught me that being a good literary citizen is about cultivating authentic connections and caring about one another. It’s about believing in and championing one another’s work. It’s a model that goes against the individualism so prevalent in a competitive, capitalistic North American social framework."
Thank you, Tyler Mills and The Collagist, for a new review of The Palace of Contemplating Departure. "The voices in this collection will stay in your head; they are voices that refuse what is easy for what is real, and they create beauty out of illusion—as devastating, and necessary, as that illusion is." Read the full review here.
Thanks to Lyrics & Dirges, Litquake, Poetry Flash, Poetry Tuesday at Yerba Buena Gardens, and poet Anhvu Buchanan, I'll be participating in a handful of readings in the Bay Area this July. 7/13 in SF, 7/14 in Oakland, 7/16 in SF, 7/17 in Berkeley, and 7/19 back in SF. Check out the reading schedule for details.
Garrett Bryant reviews The Palace of Contemplating Departure in HINGED. "Ultimately Saito leaves the reader with the tools to overcome the hardships of love and loss. Her tenacious voice and emotionally charged words give the reader grounding for our own troubles. She teaches the reader to have the courage and strength to move on." Read on.
"At times transparent and vulnerable, at others, sinuous with history and the breath of the supernatural, the heart of Brynn Saito’s first full-length collection beats dangerously, exhilaratingly, close to the surface." Continuing reading Iris Law's review of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, published today in TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics.