Brynn Saito


As soon as I arrived, I was greeted so warmly as if I was among old friends! Here was a group of dynamic people who shared both my struggles—being a writer of color in America—and my passions: a deep devotion to the art of poetry.  I've always heard, read, and spoken about the importance of community in any artistic endeavor.  The poet's road can be a lonely one; the drifting heart needs its anchors.  But I never realized how empowering  a community of artists could be until I spent four days with the Kundiman staff, teachers, and fellows.  I found there what I failed to find in my MFA program, or in any other poetry workshop I've taken: a deep respect and honor among poets; a desire to talk about race, identity, and history, in conjunction with one's composition process; and a willingness to be brave, to fail, and to look silly.  The sillier the better!  In fact, the laughter, energy, and spark never expired, despite the hot, long days and even longer nights.  I thank the founders of Kundiman and the entire staff for having the vision to create and maintain such a fierce organization.