Brandy Nālani McDougall

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Poet Laureate of Hawaiʻi, 2023–2025

Brandy Nālani McDougall is a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Kauaʻi lineages) poet raised on the slopes of Haleakalā on Maui. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Oregon and a PhD in English from the University of Hawaiʻi

Nālani McDougall is the author of ʻĀina Hānau / Birth Land (University of Arizona Press, 2023); Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2016), the first extensive study of contemporary Hawaiian literature and the winner of the 2017 Beatrice Medicine Award; and The Salt-Wind: Ka Makani Pa'Akai (Kuleana Oiwi Press, 2008).

Also a recipient of Fulbright, Ford, and Mellon fellowships, Nālani McDougall is the director of the Mānoa Center for Humanities and Civic Engagement and an associate professor of American Studies, specializing in Indigenous studies, at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 

Nālani McDougall was a Guest Editor for Poem-a-Day in May 2022. In 2023, she was appointed poet laureate of Hawaiʻi through 2025. She lives in Kalaepōhaku in the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī on Oʻahu. In 2023, Nālani McDougall received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship