Julian Talamantez Brolaski, 2019 Pew Fellow. Photo by Charles Ludvig.
“For me [poetry is] not a field I labor in, it's the landscape I live in. Poetry structures my life and my thought and my activity every day.”
Based in Oakland, California, Julian Talamantez Brolaski’s poetry draws from multiple languages, literary traditions, and modes of expression—including Apache dialects, Renaissance verse, and modern colloquialisms—to explore how linguistic differences can inform multifaceted identity and experience. A two-spirit and transgender poet and musician of mixed Mescalero and Lipan Apache, Latin@, and European heritages, Brolaski explores the relationships among gender, race, and grammar, while experimenting with typography, including crossed-out words, superscript, and other visual strategies to heighten poetic effects. Brolaski is the author of four books of poetry and performs readings nationally and internationally. 2017’s Of Mongrelitude was a finalist for the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Brolaski’s work has appeared in several anthologies, including Best American Experimental Writing and New Poets of Native Nations, as well as leading journals such as Poetry, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, and Vassar Review. Brolaski holds an MFA in English literature and creative writing from Mills College and a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley.
As a Pew Fellow-in-Residence, Brolaski points to Philadelphia’s vibrant poetry community and array of reading series and resources that make the city “a really exciting place for literary art.” While in residence in Philadelphia, the poet is interested in studying the area’s Lenape land and language as well as conducting research at equestrian centers to inform a new book on the way horses see and how people interact with these animals.