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Born in Los Angeles in 1943, Brandi graduated from the University of California, he joined the Peace Corps to work with Andean farmers in their struggle for land titles and civil liberties. Returning to the U.S., he protested the war in Vietnam, lived in Alaska and the Sierra Nevadas, and finally took up permanent residence in New Mexico. He has travelled extensively to the Indian subcontinent, Ladakh, Nepal, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bali and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the Djerassi Foundation. He teaches in the summer months at Idyllwild Arts in California.
"These poems shine with a Taoist sensibility and the wisdom and simplicity of self. John Brandi, as a traveller throughout Asia and the Americas, gives us the artist's heightened sensitivity and clarity of detail; and poems of rare precision, charm and truth." -- Joanne Kyger, author of About Now