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The Palace of Contemplating Departure Paperback – March 1, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Palace of Contemplating Departure brims over with exacting and devastating details of terrain—of the ‘heart’s quick chirping,’ and of the ‘future… a bright coin spinning in sunlight.’ Saito proves a brave and whip-smart guide to recount journeys (both forced and chosen) around the word and the world. With a lyrical insistence gracing these pages, these alluring poems will both terrify and entrance in such a way that when you finally look up and close the book, you will have to wonder when and where you are. A dazzling and gorgeous debut!”
—Aimee Nezhukumatathil


 “The body is merely a cage for the radiant and otherworldly in Brynn Saito’s startling debut collection, The Palace of Contemplating Departure. The manifold selves created here reside deeply inside mystery. These poems are fully alive as they struggle between opposing forces of life and death, conflict and peace, gods and demons, darkness and light, the material and heavenly. This is a sacred internal travel, carving its mighty shadow on the world. How vibrant is the voice of Brynn Saito; how angelic, bestial, seductive, and divine. The Palace of Contemplating Departure is an offering of the highest order, written in sanctuary, a promise on the tongue, a litany of urgent prayers.”
—Tina Chang


 “No wonder that Brynn Saito, even at a young age, is already a member of the country's literary establishment. Even her student poetry attracted the attention of Dame Helen Vendler. I think it's because unlike much of contemporary poetry, hers has depth.”
—Ishmael Reed 


 “From the first pages of this brilliant new book readers will find a tough and vital vision that goes well beyond the personal, touching on aspects of American life you won’t have found expressed with such contemporary freshness and verve elsewhere. This largeness never inflates to bombast, but is guided by sympathetic wit and edgy, memorable phrasings. In one of her poems Brynn Saito writes, ‘It’s done: never again in my life / will I be only one thing.’ It’s her strong sense of mutability, even metamorphosis, I find most compelling. Real poetry by a real poet—one I expect to be reading for years to come.”
—David Mason


“At times transparent and vulnerable, at others, sinuous with history and the breath of the supernatural, the heart of Brynn Saito’s first full-length collection beats dangerously, exhilaratingly, close to the surface. As it weaves its network of tales and voicings, we are confronted at every turn by the poet’s delightful knack for lyric surprise.”
TAB: The Journal of Poetry and Poetics

About the Author

Brynn Saito is the winner of Red Hen Press’s 2011 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award. Her poetry has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed; it has also appeared in Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, and Drunken Boat, among other journals. Brynn was born in the Central Valley of California to a Korean American mother and a Japanese American father. She received an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in religious studies from NYU. Currently, Brynn lives in the Bay Area and teaches in San Francisco.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press; 1st Edition edition (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597097160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597097161
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Not only is the cover beautiful, but so is the poetry. I bought this book on a whim, after hearing one of Brynn's poems read at an open mic, and it is one of the best impulse purchases I've made all year. Love it.
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Format: Paperback
Saito's debut collection includes several asides into esoteric ambiguity like most. But what succeeds in her collection does so with such ultimate bravado. A deep wisdom lies in her words. She does best the portrayal of characters. This particular reader's favorite stanzas came from "Winter in Denmark." Truly a great read.
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By Seema on November 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
I read these poems again and again, uncovering new things each time.
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