Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Brandon Som earned a BA from Arizona State University, an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD from the University of Southern California. He is the author of Babel’s Moon (Tupelo, 2011), winner of a Snowbound Chapbook Award, and The Tribute Horse (Nightboat, 2014), winner of a Nightboat Poetry Prize and Kate Tufts Discovery Award. The Tribute Horse explores the story of Chinese immigrants like Som’s grandfather, who circumvented the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act in 1928 by falsely claiming kin with Chinese Americans. In a review of The Tribute Horse, Meriwether Clarke writes, “Readers of Som’s book are implicitly forced to remember the discrimination nineteenth- and twentieth-century Chinese immigrants faced. … The desire to hold the past and present in the same handful, to marry where one is going with where one has come from, speaks to Som’s delicate representation of the inner turmoil of immigrant experience.”
Som’s poetry appears in Barrow Street, Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. He has taught at Chatham University, New York University, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Young Writers Institute.