Brionne Janae


Brionne Janae is a poet and teaching artist living in Brooklyn. They are the author of Blessed are the Peacemakers (2021) which won the 2020 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and After Jubilee (2017) published by Boat Press. Brionne is the recipient of the St. Botoloph Emerging Artist award, a Hedgebrook Alum and proud Cave Canem Fellow. Their poetry has been published in Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, The Sun Magazine, jubilat, and Waxwing among others. Brionne is the co-host of the podcast: The Slave is Gone alongside poet Jericho Brown and Rogue Scholar Aífe Murray. Off the page they go by Breezy. Source

Against Mastery

give me no seat at the table

let no trembling hands lay food on my plate


let me lord over no one and nothing

not the dog curled up in my bed


not the land nor children who wander

through my care         let me learn from the babies


and be always laughing at my ignorance

only humble discovery       give me


and keep my eyes on the pattern of birds’ wings

breaking the blue overhead           let me face


the ones I harm with open palms and let love

be the method and measure of my worth


keep my heart with my people

and the coal glowing beneath my feet


let me run and run and run and run

and let the flame of my torch never go out


I am here with you

to burn the house down


keep me to this          cut me down

before you let me lose my way





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Faith & Hope

Strength & Resilience

Literary Devices:


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


an instruction or a command