Brandy Nālani McDougall

Raised on the slopes of Haleakalā in Maui, Brandy Nālani McDougall is of Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Hawaiʻi, Maui, and Kauaʻi lineages), Chinese, and Scottish descent. She grew up around storytellers of the moʻolelo tradition and learned to read at age four. McDougall earned her BA from Whittier College, her MFA from the University of Oregon, and her PhD from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She has been awarded Mellon-Hawaiʻi and Ford postdoctoral fellowships for her work.

McDougall is the author of two poetry collections: The Salt-Wind, Ka Makani Paʻakai (Kuleana ʻŌiwi Press, 2008) and ʻĀina Hānau / Birth Land (University of Arizona Press, 2022). She is also co-editor of Huihui: Navigating Art and Literature in the Pacific (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2014), an anthology on Pacific aesthetics and rhetorics, and the monograph Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2016), which was awarded the 2017 Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies and a Ka Palapala Poʻokela Honorable Mention. With Craig Santos Perez, McDougall is the co-founder of Ala Press, an independent press dedicated to publishing creative works by Indigenous Pacific Islanders. She serves on the board of the Pacific Writers’ Connection and is a former member of American Quarterly’s board of managing editors. Currently, McDougall is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies in the American Studies Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the director of the Mānoa Center for the Humanities and Civic Engagement.