Brandon Melendez is a Mexican-American poet from the sunny state of California. Brandon graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in literature and a minor in creative writing. He is a National Poetry Slam finalist, Rustbelt Poetry Slam Finalist, and two-time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion. His poems can be found in the Adroit Journal, Anomaly, Black Warrior Review, The Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, Sixth Finch & elsewhere.
His first book home/land was selected by Write Bloody Publishing and will be released in Spring 2019. Recently he received the 2018 Djanikian Scholarship from the Adroit Journal and the 2018 Academy of American Poets Award. Brandon’s poems often deal with familial relationships and how they are impacted by language, borders, erasure, assimilation, and tradition. He is fascinated by mythologies and origin stories and sometimes he uses writing as an excuse to be a nerd about etymology.
Some of Brandon’s favorite contemporary books of poetry are Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, Madness by Sam Sax, and When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz. When he is not writing or studying poems, Brandon is a poetry reader for Ploughshares and Redivider, two of his favorite literary magazines. He is also still active in the poetry slam community where he coaches collegiate national poetry teams and continues to compete in the national circuit (he is currently representing the House Slam team in Boston).
Someday he hopes to have several cats and maybe a dog. For now, he is happy with his human friends and is grateful that poetry has allowed him to visit so many cities and meet so many brilliant folks along the way. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter! He loves new friends.