The Afternoon Series Welcomes Brynn Saito on "Intimate Ecologies: Crisis, Community, and the Poem"

Date & Time:
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 -
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
De La Salle Hall: Hagerty Lounge, 1928 Saint Mary's Road, Moraga, CA 94575
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Intimate Ecologies: Crisis, Community, and the Poem 

This talk will inquire into the limits, complexities, and possibilities of community-based poetry and poetics in this moment of social and economic precarity. Drawing on recent work with the Yonsei Memory Project—an arts-based initiative surfacing connections between the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans and current civil liberties debates—we’ll explore a number of threads, questions: What is the role of poem-making and poem-speaking in maintaining communal memory? What are the implications of considering the poet as diagnoser, preserver, creator, or disrupter within a particular collective? Considering “community” as one form of public intimacy/assembly, we’ll ask: can the poem, too, enact a coalitional space and way of loving? We’ll move through a variety of fields (zen buddhism; critical theory) and conjure writings by Judy Grahn, June Jordan, Gloria Anzaldúa and others in order to trace these lines of inquiry.


Brynn Saito is the author of two books of poetry, Power Made Us Swoon and The Palace of Contemplating Departure. Brynn is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship and a California State Library Civil Liberties grant. Saito is the 2018 Distinguished Visiting Writer in Poetry in the MFA in Creative Writing program.




MFA in Creative Writing