Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Award-winning Poet

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  • An Evening with Julian Talamantez Brolaski


“Here is language as mutt, a synthesis of what came before and what most contemporary English speakers employ. Brolaski presents, and seems dedicated to, the kind of experimentation that keeps language evolving and malleable.” – Publishers Weekly

“Brolaski extends far beyond any sort of postmodern critique of gender politics. It embraces the charged erotic power that is dormant in our poetics and our bodies.” – The Rumpus

Julian Talamantez Brolaski is a two-spirit and transgender poet and musician of mixed Mescalero and Lipan Apache, Latin@, and European heritages. Its pronoun is it. Its most recent book is Of Mongrelitude (Wave Books 2017), a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Brolaski is also the author of Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), Gowanus Atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), and co-editor of a book of essays on the transgender artist and activist kari edwards: NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books, 2009).

Brolaski’s scholarly and poetic work deals with issues of indigeneity, resistance, two-spirit, trans, and mixed-race identity, and the way that language and song function as medicine. It is currently researching and editing a book on the Mescalero Apache female initiation ceremony with its grandmother, Inés Talamantez, (The Apache Pollen Path, forthcoming University of New Mexico Press 2020). It is a co-founder of the Indigenous Peoples’ Committee at Pratt Institute.

It is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist in the country bands The Western Skyline (Oakland), and Juan & the Pines (Brooklyn); it was also in the NYC-based bands The Low & the Lonesome, and the Invert Family Singers. Brolaski has sung with the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) drum at San Francisco Pride, the Queer Women of Color Music Festival, and the San Francisco LGBT Transgender Day of Remembrance. Brolaski has performed its poetry and music all over the world, at literary festivals and venues in Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway.

Brolaski’s work has been included in the anthologies New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf 2018), Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits (University of New Mexico Press, 2017), and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat, 2012), and in numerous journals including Poetry, Nepantla 3 (A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color), the Vassar Review, the Brooklyn Rail, and BOMB.

Brolaski holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, an MFA from Mills College, and a BA from UC Santa Cruz. It has taught at UC Berkeley, NYU, the New School, Poets House, and other institutions. It has been the recipient of fellowships at Yaddo, the Montalvo Center for the Arts, and the Millay Colony.

It maintains a blog of poems handwritten on legal paper here.

Short Bio

Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Of Mongrelitude (Wave Books, 2017), which was recently shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry; Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012); and Gowanus Atropolis (Ugly Duckling Press, 2011. It is coediter of NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of Kari Edwards, as well as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Brooklyn-based Juan & the Pines and Oakland-based The Western Skyline. Julian is currently at work on The Apache Pollen Path (forthcoming from University of New Mexico Press) with its grandmother, Inés Talamantez. It maintains a blog of handwritten poems here.



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