Poetry. Asian American Studies. "Perhaps we can never take adequate spiritual and moral measure of the first use of atomic weapons at the end of World War II, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying. J. David Cummings' TANCHO is a book of what he calls 'fierce remembering,' and I would add that these poems are also a fierce imagining of that world-historical event and its long aftermath. A former nuclear scientist himself, Cummings journeys to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in both Japanese and English poetic forms, he takes us with him in a sustained meditation on the most bewildering of human sufferings. Like Sadako-san's colorful, folded paper cranes, these poems present us with a deeply moving and much-needed prayer for peace."—Fred Marchant
J. David Cummings was employed as a theoretical physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for more than ten years. He resigned his position in 1973 out of the conviction that he could no longer work in nuclear weapons development, and never returned to defense work or physics research. In the early 90s he traveled to Japan, which afforded him the opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park. Later, meditating on his experience at the Park, and in response to the controversy over a planned Smithsonian Institution exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he began the nearly two-decade project of writing the poems that culminated in his book, TANCHO (Ashland Poetry Press, 2014).
Author City: MENLO PARK, CA USA