March 6, 2004 - Tetramatrix: Biography of Poet-essayist and Ecuador RPCV John Brandi

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: March 6, 2004 - Tetramatrix: Biography of Poet-essayist and Ecuador RPCV John Brandi

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Biography of Poet-essayist and Ecuador RPCV John Brandi

Biography of Poet-essayist and Ecuador RPCV John Brandi

John Brandi : Biography

Born: 1943, Los Angeles. Graduated from the University of California at Northridge, 1965. Joined the Peace Corps, moved to highland Ecuador, helped organize Quechua families in their struggle for civil liberties and land rights. In South America, began publishing his poetry via the freshly-blooming “mimeo revolution,” predecessor to the small press movement. Upon return from the Peace Corps, lived in Alaska, Mexico, and finally New Mexico, his home for more than thirty years. Subsequent travels: through the American Southwest to Alaska’s Arctic desert, the Nepal Himalayas, India, Ladakh, Thailand, Laos, the Indonesian archipelago, Bali, Mexico, and Viet Nam. Since 1973, he has worked as an itinerant poet in schools, prisons, homes for elderly, and centers for at-risk youth—via numerous residency awards from state arts councils in Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, the Navajo Nation, and sub-arctic Yupik communities.

John Brandi’s dozens of publications include: poetry, travel vignettes, essays, modern American haiku, translations of contemporary Mexican poetry, hand-colored broadsides, and limited-edition letterpress books. Simultaneous with U.S. publication, his books have appeared from publishers in India and Kathmandu; his poems in newspapers and journals in Italy, France, England, Switzerland, India, and Mexico. He has given innumerable readings in the U.S., and has been invited to read in Paris, Mexico, and Indonesia. Painter and collage master as well as poet, his solo exhibits include galleries in Houston, San Francisco, Rochester, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe. Among his honors: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a Witter Bynner Translation Award, a Djerassi Foundation Residency, the Just Buffalo Writers Award, the Portland State University Poetry Prize, and several N.E.A. awards to publish poetry, 1975-1988, as founder/editor of Tooth of Time Books. His books include: Heartbeat Geography: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1966-1994; A Question of Journey;Visits to the City of Light;Weeding the Cosmos; and Reflections in the Lizard’s Eye. He teaches poetry as a member of the summer faculty at Idyllwild Arts, California.
See John Brandi's poems in Summer, 2001 issue of "The Drunken Boat

John Brandi : Resumé
John Brandi

PO Box 275
El Rito NM 87530


11-5-43, Los Angeles

BA, Art / Anthropology; California State University at Northridge, 1965
Peace Corps, highland Ecuador, 1966-1968

Selected Awards:
Portland State University Poetry Prize, 1972
National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship, 1980
NEA Grants as Editor of Tooth of Time Books, 1980-86
State Arts Councils Poetry-in-the-Schools Awards: Alaska, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada (1973-1993)
Witter Bynner Foundation Translation Award - Mexican Poetry (1985)
Just Buffalo Literary Center Writer-in-Residence Award (1988)
Djerassi Foundation Residency Award (1990)

Major Publications:
“Empty Moon / Bellyfull: Asian Haiku” (Pilgrims Books India, 2001)
“Visits to the City of Light” (Mother’s Milk, 2000)
“Reflections in the Lizard’s Eye: Notes from the High Desert” (Western Edge, 2000)
“Unmasking the Fire: Bali Journals with Renée Gregorio” (Yoo Hoo Press, 1999)
“No Other Business Here: Haiku with Steve Sanfield” (La Alameda Press, 1999)
“A Question of Journey” (Asia Edition: Book Faith India; 1999)
“Heartbeat Geography: Selected & Uncollected Poems” (White Pine; 1995)
“A Question of Journey” (Light & Dust; 1995)
“Weeding the Cosmos” (La Alameda Press, 1994)
“Shadow Play: poems 1987-1991” (Light and Dust; 1992)
“In the Desert We do not Count the Days” (Holy Cow! Press; 1991)
“Hymn for a Night Feast: poems 1979-1986” (Holy Cow! Press; 1989)
“That Back Road In” (Wingbow Press; 1985)
“Poems at the Edge of Day” (White Pine Press; 1984)
“That Crow That Visited Was Flying Backwards” (Tooth of Time; 1982)
“Diary from a Journey to the Middle of the World” (The Figures Press; 1980)
“Chimborazo: Life on the Haciendas of Ecuador” (Akwesasne Notes; 1976)
“Desde Alla” (Tree/Christopher’s Press; 1971)

Selected Poetry Readings:
Saint Mark’s Poetry Series, NYC
Interchange, San Francisco
River Styx Poetry Series, St. Louis
Woodland-Pattern, Milwaukee
Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Ft. Lewis College, Colorado
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Beyond Baroque Foundation, Los Angeles
Center for Peace Through Culture, San Antonio
Cody’s Books, Berkeley
Jamestown Community College, NY
The Portland Poetry Festival, Portland, Oregon
Idyllwild Arts Poetry Festival, California
Roswell Museum, New Mexico
Pink Pony, NYC
Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque
Downtown Subscription, Santa Fe
Sacramento Poetry Center, California
Lindenwood College, St. Charles, Missouri
Guadalajara International Book Fair, Guadalajara, Mexico
Tea & Tattered Pages, Paris

Radio Broadcasts:
KDHX, St. Louis; WBFO, Buffalo; KUNM, Albuquerque; KPFT, Houston; KBOO,
Portland; KSFR, Santa Fe

Teaching (residencies and seminars):
Aleknagik, Ekwok, New Stuyahok, Alaska, 1986, 1991 (Poetry-in-the-Schools)
Navajo Nation, Shiprock, NM: 1986-1997 (Poetry,Language Arts, Theatre Improv)
New Mexico rural schools: 1973-1985 (Poetry-in-the-Schools)
Nevada rural schools: 1988-1995 (Poetry / Visual Arts)
Just Buffalo Literary Center, Buffalo, NY: Autumn 1988 (Poet-in-Residence)
College Of Santa Fe, NM: 1985 (In-service Poetry Workshop for Teachers)
San Juan College, NM: 1987 (In-service Poetry Workshop for Teachers)
Idyllwild School of Music and Art, Ca: 1990-present (Poetry Seminars)
Montana rural schools: 1992 (Poetry-in-the-Schools)

California Mens Colony, San Luis Obispo
Sing Sing, NY; Green Correctional Institute, NY.
Springer Boys Home, NM; YDDC, NM (youth corrections)
New Mexico State Penitentiary, Santa Fe

Special Situations:
New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped, Alamagordo
New Mexico School for the Deaf, Santa Fe
Transitional Living Services, Albuquerque (poetry with schizophrenics)
Open Hands, Santa Fe (poetry & oral history with the elderly)
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM (poetry & interpretations)

Major Exhibits of Paintings:
North Columbia Cultural Center, Nevada City, Ca.
Woodland-Pattern Book Center, Milwaukee
Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, Ca.
Moody Gallery, Houston, Tx
Laurel Seth Gallery, Santa Fe
Return Gallery, Taos
University of New Mexico Thompson Gallery, Albuquerque

Selected Magazines and Periodicals:
Atlantic Monthly, Caliban, Hawaii Pacific Review, Poetry Flash, Nimrod, Blue
Mesa Review, Modern haiku, Iron (Great Britain), Kyoto Journal (Japan),
Trapani Nova (Italy), Don Quichotte (Switzerland), Chelsea, River Styx, Fish Drum

South & Central America; Mexico; Canada, Alaska; India, Nepal, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Viet Nam;
Malaysia, Indonesian Archipelago (including assistant instructor, two one-month seminars in Bali for
students of Ft. Lewis College, Co., 1995, 1996).

Current Teaching Position:
Summer faculty, Idyllwild Arts, California / poetry intensives for adults

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Story Source: Tetramatrix

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