April 30, 2022
Thanks Cynthia. Your spirit in Poetry is profound in its support of Free Verse expressionism. -David Lester Young
On November 5th, 2021, Cynthia Bryant provided a gracious and cathartic hour-long guest seminar for my undergraduate “Poetry & Gender” class in the Creative Writing & Social Action program for the School of Humanities & Communication at California State University Monterey Bay.
Her seminar, hosted via Zoom, was themed around trauma writing and how poetry helps people heal from abuse, assault, and abandonment. Although this presentation demanded the candid confrontation of intense and triggering emotions and experiences from our classroom audience, she focused far more on gentle, gracious empowerment and support, and never once failed to “check in” with the students every ten minutes to make sure everyone was maintaining emotional safety throughout the discussion.
Cynthia shared many of her original autobiographical poems, chronicling her own experiences as a survivor. She then compassionately guided the students through her journey toward becoming a professional poet capable of breaking silence and bearing witness to these traumas, as well a poet able to speak beyond the limitations of such experiences. Finally, she conducted a profoundly connective Q&A session with the students, offering deeply empathetic guidance, wisdom, and affirmation for their own work as emerging authors (many of whom were also trauma survivors).
I wholeheartedly recommend Cynthia’s poetry to anyone seeking humane writing around these topics, and I unconditionally recommend her seminar opportunities for anyone seeking to engage more actively in this type of patient and stirring dialogue. My college students all agreed.
—Kent Leatham, adjunct lecturer
September 1, 2019
"Cynthia Bryant's writing is raw and tender. Her devotion to technique and truth-telling will both haunt and inspire you."
- Kelechi Ubozoh -MoonDrop Productions
August 6, 2019
"If you ever have the opportunity, please be witness to a live poetry reading by Cynthia Bryant. Her words take you on her life's journey, that ride of ups and downs and through those excruciating painful bumps in the road. That none of us, should have to live through. Some painful...some pretty. Her words are compelling, beautiful and strong. Whether she is speaking about politics, love, (free love in the 60’s ) family, and yes her “fur babies “ you are in for a wonderful treat ! A terrific poet to read and an amazing heart sharing poet to watch perform behind an open mic at a live poetry reading.
Tony Aldarondo, actor, spoken word artist, poet!
January 14, 2019
"Cynthia Bryant combines an unflinching honesty when sharing her own work with an unflagging compassion when sharing the work of others. Through the readings she facilitates-- carefully curated to celebrate the best of her colleagues-- and the poems she crafts-- stories of survival, resistance, and endurance-- she is a local literary hub around which great empathy orbits."
Kent Leatham, teacher/poet
"Cynthia Bryant explored patriarchy gone wild, asking the question from various perspectives, would you believe if the man's name was daddy? From God, to nation, to commerce, to the home, she covered it all. Our "eyes wide open, our minds suspended." Can you believe?"
Great set. Thanks, Cynthia.
Hostess of Curated Words-Janice Blaze Rocke
June 10, 2017
After reading at The Frank Bettes Arts Center In Alameda, CA 6/9/18
"Every now and then it feels like you're talking to somebody who cares...somebody paying attention... somebody who knows what you're talking about.
and sometimes somebody reads to the room and you know that they are connected...a part of the locomotive that barrels down your track...a freight car coupled to common ground...
and you feel encouraged ... emboldened ... and you're calmed to know that there are others out there...like you... looking from the same heart...seeing with the same eyes...hearing through shared ears.
these are the times that you know you must never stop making your statement...must never compromise your vision...must never mute your voice.
all hail the poet...the writer... the reporter...the singer...the songwriter...the musician...the dancer...the painter...the speaker...the storyteller...the artists and all the arts.
all hail the truth and those who tell it."
Jeannette DesBoine, author and poet
Thanks! Happy to meet you.
May 27, 2017
‘’Cynthia Bryant started our evening of Curated Words out with an Ode to the Scum of the Earth, the first of a several poems which ranged in subject matter from childhood sexual abuse to the Dr. Seuss like simplicity (and not in a charming sort of way) of a certain orange-shaded occupier of a big white house in Washington DC.”
Hostess of Curated Words-Janice Blaze Rocke
"You’ll never find a more heartfelt championing of the causes of the abused and oppressed than in the poetry of Cynthia Bryant.”
-poet, Michael McLaughlin, Countless Cinemas
"Cynthia Bryant is an accomplished poet who has presented her fine work at readings held by the Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium. Her poems are rich and engaging and she brings them to life though her powerful readings. She is not to be missed."
-Robert Nielsen, Reading Host, Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium
“Cynthia Bryant’s poems draw the world through the senses in a concentrated yet lyrical style. The voice is confident, measured. Evocative memories, as they appear in her poems, especially those relating to place, are always fresh, as if happening now. Associations deepen as lines grow into well-crafted scenes. Each aspect is a touchstone to map experience. Darkness sometimes threatens, contrasting with lighter moods – balancing the two shows real finesse. Time itself is localised colour; this is the success of her art. The ‘I’ in her poems is never self-indulgent, nor egotistical; it is the conduit through which all things can be known. Bryant’s subject matter is eclectic, from ultra-seriousness in difficult issues such as trauma in childhood to the joys of loving. Familiarity with her poems pays dividends. An engagement with her work gives the reader unexpected ways within which to re-imagine time, space and the importance of living.”
- Christopher Barnes, UK poet
Words about FOLKS-VERSIONS OF US
Cynthia L. Bryant’s, FOLKS VERSIONS OF US, captures the human condition not in its best light. These poems give us the all too real pain, of what it is like, for women in this world, “She is yours/ beat her as you see fit”, “They gets what they deserve/ All them bitches”. She articulates this pain with authority only a survivor can muster, “ only the crying/ left to do”. The beauty of Cynthia’s poems, lies in the courage of the an heart, to endure, to heal, to create. The very act of writing these poems remind us “ We shall overcome."
- Kevin Patrick Sullivan
Poet Laureate Emeritus of San Luis Obispo, CA
This book was a schemata tsunami for me. As I read thru FOLKS I also looked to my bookshelf to parallel read Anne Sexton & Sylvia Plath...Cynthia Bryant writes telling truth with musical cadence. A memorable poem for me in this collection is "Voice of a Still-Small Boy, a voice Phil Levine had in his "Cry for Nothing"
Hugs...Gordon B. Preston
Words about, NO TIME TO SHOOT THE POETS
“Anyone can make lemons into lemonade. Cynthia Bryant takes one wonderful step beyond by making pain and dilemmas into delicious dilemma Nade poetry.”
−Jim Dwyer (aka, The Rev. Junkyard Moondog) Bibliographic Services Librarian, CSU, Chico
Cynthia Bryant’s lovely poems are personal set against the backdrop of the culture. This “stance” provides the best of both worlds: the private and communal. It also provides the kind of context that allows the personal to move toward the universal. And isn’t this the chief aim of art?
−Armand Brint, past Poet Laureate of Ukiah, California; author of Schools of Light and The League of Slow Cities
Words about DARK MOTHER
"Bryant's poetry is spare and powerful. She effectively captures the poignant emotional world of child, teenager, and adult in relation to childhood trauma. This volume is a well-crafted and courageous telling of the truths that heal."
Marriage and Family Therapist and author of "Grace Happens"
"Cynthia L. Bryant has transformed the anguish of her childhood into a collection of poems that vividly describe the pain children endure with their mothers suffer from borderline personality disorder. Set against a background of pop culture that is at once familiar and eerily discomforting, her poetry portrays abuse, emotional abandonment, even incest with such heartbreaking directness that even those who have not experienced such nightmares will recognize in her words the universal 'dark night' of every soul. 'Dark Mother' is both beautiful and disturbing, cathartic and revealing."
Charan Sue Wollard
Fiction writer, editor & poet