Jason Bayani, pulls at the threads of his culture and upbringing to deliver his most powerful collection of poems born out of an irreconcilable sense of home that exists on opposite ends of the Pacific. It is spun out of opposing forces; of the Filipino and the American; of the artist and the paycheck collector; of the clenched fist and the open hand; of one who embraces and embodies an inherited language, and knows only less of the one written on his skin. Bayani’s work pulls the reader in with writing that is empathic and brimming with a wide-eyed attachment to beauty that is painted from the guts, and then beckons you to take him up on the offer presented at the end of Broken Crown of Sonnets for the End of the World, “that you might remember me a place in this world.”

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It is clear that despite the insistence that painful words and experiences ‘can break your posture,’ Bayani refuses to collapse. Broken does not mean beaten. And the mean-ings of the word ‘beat’ need not be confined to that of the negative verb.
Glint Literary Journal Glint Literary Journal
Jason Bayani’s poetry brings much needed guts into a world hung up on presentations.
My mouth / has been using other tongues. / My mouth has been screaming on someone else’s picket line,” writes Jason Bayani in his debut collection, Amulet. It is a wonderful thing, this collection, full of breaking and hunger. In thoughtful and deftly crafted poems, he explores the social limitations and contradictions of the masculine, the mouth, tongue, voice. Strong-willed and smart, the language of Bayani’s poems pops and bangs, punches, hurls bricks, and then does not flinch from tenderness. Amulet is the opposite of “someone else’s picket line”; it is  self-reflective, tough, and articulate, a very welcome addition to our growing Filipino American literary world.
Nobody combines brains with guts quite like Jason Bayani.  Holy shit, these poems.  These are the words of a streetwise introvert, a prophet brawling his way out of rehab.  When digging into his work, you know that poetry is alive, kicking and singing.  Poetry lovers rejoice – Jason’s art can now be passed on and on, and forces you to remember you have hands.
Even as his poems touch on various social and artistic tribulations, they are united by Bayani’s voice… the verses come at the reader as if he’s performing each piece in front of them, his speech resonating through each line of the book. The words permeate with self-doubt, rage, and compassion, yet the poems themselves feel measured and perfected.


This book is a powerful examination of life in America for Filipino Americans and people of Asian descent.