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John Brandi has been an active walker, writer, visual artist since boyhood rambles in the mountains of California. He continues to seek source and renewal in his travels abroad and in New Mexico, his home for fifty years. In 2015 a limited edition of his Southwest prose poems, Into the Dream Maze, was issued by the Press at the Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; followed by Planet Pilgrim, his paean to Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki. He received a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award 2017 for A House By Itself: Selected Haiku Masaoka Shiki.
"John Brandi gives us the artist's heightened sensitivity and clarity of detail; poems of rare precision, charm and truth." -Joanne Kyger "Brandi writes honestly and wittily; his prose is swift and crisp. Like another poet, Leonard Cohen, who wondered rhetorically if travel leads us to anywhere, Brandi seems to suggest that destination is not as important as the act of adventuring itself." -Preston Houser, Kyoto Journal "The way John Brandi interprets the desert world is rich with the guts and gusto of old-fashioned magicians. The man is absolutely shameless in his lust for being alive. His is a bittersweet, loving vision, as well as a hardass, heartfelt swansong to disappearing vestiges of a more truthful way of life." -John Nichols, author of The Milagro Beanfield War "Brandi writes about the natural world with insight and respect. He offers more than a recitation of places he's been or a call to honor the environment: He connects the reader to the exterior and interior aspects of his active experience." -Jennifer Levin, Santa Fe New Mexican "John Brandi's poems are simple enough, made out of whatever's at hand. They aren't highfalutin and won't make you rich, but they'll make you happier than you were before you read them." -Bill Porter / Red Pine