Brendan Shay Basham

Brendan Shay Basham

Visiting Faculty


Brendan Shay Basham (Diné) is Tó Ts’ohnii (Big Water) and Bit’ahnii (Folded-Arms People), born for bilagáana (Irish, Scottish, English, German). A writer, artist, educator, and recovering chef, Brendan was born in Alaska and raised in northern Arizona. He received his MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and BA in Liberal Arts from the Evergreen State College. His debut novel, Swim Home to the Vanished, was released August 22, 2023, from Harper Books, flagship imprint of HarperCollins.

Brendan’s work has appeared in Puerto del Sol, Santa Fe Literary Review, Yellow Medicine Review, and Juked, among other publications. He is a recipient of Poetry Northwest’s inaugural James Welch Prize for Indigenous Writers, the Ucross Foundation’s first Native American Literary Award, and fellowships from the Truman Capote Trust, Writing By Writers, and Tin House. He is a fiction faculty member at UNR Lake Tahoe’s Creative Writing MFA Program.


  • BA in Liberal Arts, Evergreen State College
  • MFA in Creative Writing, Institute of American Indian Arts