Program Manager, Kearny Street Workshop
Jason Bayani is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology–– Learn Then Burn, and other publications. As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he's been National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, "Amulet" was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint.
Amulet began as my MFA thesis at Saint Mary's. This program took a chance on an undisciplined performance poet and taught me how to lord over the line and the sentence. It gave me a language for poetry that I didn't have before. It put me in an environment where I could work with my fellow classmates as peers, as a team. I received practical advice from my professors and also learned to embrace the poem as an elemental force. Here, I learned the minutiae and for someone who was used to working in broad emotional strokes it settled me into my own voice and I don't suspect I would have a book without going through this experience.