ブライアン・コメイ・デンプスター

(Brian Komei Dempster)

Brian Komei Dempster's second poetry collection, Seize, was published by Four Way Books in fall 2020. His debut book of poems, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), received the 15 Bytes 2014 Book Award in Poetry. Dempster is editor of From Our Side of the Fence: Growing Up in America's Concentration Camps (Kearny Street Workshop, 2001), which received a 2007 Nisei Voices Award from the National Japanese American Historical Society, and Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement (Heyday, 2011). He is a professor of rhetoric and language at the University of San Francisco, where he serves as Director of Administration for the Master’s in Asia Pacific Studies program.

Updated January 2021

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Seize—transformation & renewal

Leaving the end of a long 2020 while entering 2021 with a combination of uncertainty, excitement, determined joy, and perpetual angst, I thought it fitting to have this month’s theme derive its inspiration from the writer and the title of his latest book of poetry, Seize. This month’s feature, Brian K…

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Poems from Topaz

In an intergenerational reading held at the Japanese American National Museum on Saturday, March 15, 2014, Sansei poet and editor, Brian Komei Dempster, read these two poems, “Crossing” and “Steamer Trunk,” along with other work from his debut collection, Topaz, which looks at the legacy o…

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Your Hands Guide Me Through Trains

From the bridge we stare down at the track, searching
the arch, where rails curve out of darkness. You lift me
on your shoulders and we balance in white light, the dead center
approaching. The whistle blows, a rumble climbs
through the bones of your feet, through your legs and hands into mine,

your right hand clench…

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