Introduction – Brianna Brash-Nyberg

Hi there, everyone.  How many make up the “everyone” who read poetry blogs, anyway?  We should start a betting pool, making guesses on what our readership will be.

I’m Brianna, and you can find me elsewhere at my weblog, Jouissance, and my business site, Borealis Creative.  I write poems, plus a healthy dose of fiction (I’m working on my first novel–who isn’t?) and creative non-fiction.  I’ve also been making websites for fifteen years, almost since the Internet was born.  These days, I make websites for writers and other creative people.  I’m also the director of Booming Ground, UBC Creative Writing’s non-credit online writing studio.

In August of this year I finished my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.  For my thesis, I wrote a book-length manuscript of poetry called Botany.  I’ll be starting the process of sending it out to publishers later this month.  I write a lot about plants, birds, mindfulness/wise mind, weather, the city, and other West Coast-y and nature-y things.  My poems have popped up here and there in Canadian literary journals, including The Malahat Review and Room.  I’ve taught writing to high school students and single moms, and I hope to continue to teach throughout my life.

I was at a party with a bunch of other poets last week, and we made each other name five favourite poets on the spot, without thinking.  I chose Anne Carson, Louise Gluck, Roo Borson, e. e. cummings, and Eric Miller.  If I had room for a couple of extras, I’d’ve thrown in Homer and Sappho–for my undergrad degree I did a minor in Greek and Roman Studies.  I still remember a few words of ancient Greek.

I’ve been “friends in the computer” with Mary for quite a few years now.  I don’t even remember how I found her journal.  Regardless, I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful collective and I’m very much looking forward to thinking about and with poetry in the company of these other three talented women and those of you who pause here for a while, read along, and hopefully join in the conversation through the comments.  There’s plenty of talk on the Internet these days about elections and economics and war and global warming and on and on.  I’m glad we’re making some space to talk about poetry, too.

In real life, I live in a cozy apartment near the beach with my husband of almost 6 years, Mike Borkent, who’s working on his MA in English Lit at UBC (focusing on cognitive poetics and the concrete poetry of bpNichol), and my fat and handsome old cat, the Gak, who’s working on convincing me to feed him, pet him, and/or let him outside.  It rains a lot in my city, but it doesn’t get too cold, so it all more or less evens out.

In my spare (ha!) time, I like to cook and experiment with raw food, make things with beads, travel, hike, camp, swim, do church-y things (I’m a progressive Christian, and generally hang out in the Anglican church), do yoga (it’s a requirement for citizenship in my neighborhood of Vancouver) and sleep.  I’m not so good with memorizing poems, but the one that’s always lurking at the back of my mouth is Ezra Pound’s “In A Station of the Metro”:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.