Brynn Saito is a poet, organizer and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and English at California State University, Fresno located on the traditional homelands of the Yokuts and Mono peoples. She 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 was also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. Her third book, Under a Future Sky, will be published in August 2023.
Brynn is a two-time recipient of the California State Library’s Civil Liberties Public Education grant for her work with Yonsei Memory Project (YMP). Co-founded with farmer and artist, Nikiko Masumoto, YMP awakens the archives of Japanese American history through arts-based, intergenerational and intercultural public programming. In 2019, Brynn and Nikiko were featured in Vogue magazine for their work with YMP.
Brynn has also received grant support from Densho, Hedgebrook, and Santa Fe Art Institute’s “Truth and Reconciliation” program. Besides her two full-length collections, Brynn curated an online project/chapbook entitled Dear—, and she co-authored with Traci Brimhall the poetry chapbooks Bright Power, Dark Peace (Diode Editions, 2016) and Wild Recovery published in Four Quartets: Poetry in the Pandemic (Tupelo Press, 2020).
Her poems have been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed. They've also appeared in the New York Times, Poetry Northwest, the San Francisco Chronicle and the American Poetry Review. Her work was recently featured in the opening ceremony for The People’s Inauguration, a 10-day event inspiring collective action led by activist Valarie Kaur.
- B.A. in philosophy University of California, Berkeley
- M.A. in religious studies New York University
- MFA in creative writing Sarah Lawrence College