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Author: Brian Komei Dempster, Seize

Join poet Brian Komei Dempster as he reads from his award-winning second book of poetry, Seize (Four Way Books, 2020). 


Watch on YouTube.


Dempster shares poems along with family photos that illuminate the work. Seize relates Dempster’s moving experience of raising a son, Brendan, who contends with intractable epilepsy and pervasive developmental delays. These poems also link his son’s physical and verbal seizure to his maternal family’s wartime incarceration in Topaz prison camp and themes of mixed-race identity, racial violence and PTSD of war veterans.  


Seize was winner of the Julie Suk Award, Silver Winner of a Human Relations Indie Book Award and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and National Indie Excellence Award in Poetry. As Julie Suk Award judge, Jaki Shelton Green, states, “Brian Komei Dempster provides a complicatedly nuanced and absorbing story of surrender, acceptance and grace. Seize holds his son’s epilepsy tenderly inside poetic depths of courageous breath, generational responsibility and the searing beauty of witness where anguish becomes canvas. The urgency and immediacy of Seize insists that the holiness of Brendan’s life never become a ghost in his father’s throat.” 


Dempster is a professor of rhetoric and language, Director of Administration of the Master’s in Asia Pacific Studies and a faculty member in Asian Pacific American Studies at the University of San Francisco. He has conducted numerous workshops with former concentration camp survivors and their descendants, Bay Area residents, Asian Pacific American writers and those of diverse backgrounds and generations. His debut book of poems, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), received the 15 Bytes Book Award in Poetry.  

Purchase Seize from our partners at Four Way Books.




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本活動由與三藩市公立圖書館無關的團體所提出及表達的觀點及意見,並不代表三藩市公立圖書館 (SFPL) 或三藩市官方政策或立場。

如因文字翻譯理解不同, 導致內容有所出入, 應以英文版本為準 。