Poetry. Finalist for the 2020 Big Other Book Award for Poetry. In Sawako Nakayasu's ﬁrst poetry collection in seven years, an unsettling diaspora of "girls" is deployed as poetic form, as reclamation of diminutive pseudo-slur, and as characters that take up residence between the thick border zones of language, culture, and shifting identity. Written in response to Nakayasu's 2017 return to the US, this maximalist collection invites us to reexamine our own complicity in reinforcing literary convention. The book radicalizes notions of "translation" as both process and product, running a kind of linguistic interference that is intimate, feminist, and playfully jagged.
Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation—separately and in various combinations. She has lived mostly in the US and Japan, briefly in France and China, and translates from Japanese. Her books include The Ants (Les Figues Press), TEXTURE NOTES (Letter Machine Editions, 2010), SOME GIRLS WALK INTO THE COUNTRY THEY ARE FROM (Wave Books, 2020), ELECTRIC SARCASM (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2020), the translation of Tatsum Hijikata's Costume en Face: A Primer of Darkness for Young Boys and Girls (UDP), The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books), and Mouth: Eats Color—Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals (Rogue Factorial), a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. She is co-editor of A TRANSPACIFIC POETICS (Litmus Press, 2017), a gathering of poetry and poetics engaging transpacific imaginaries, as well as of a forthcoming anthology of 20th Century Japanese Poetry, co-edited with Eric Selland (New Directions). She teaches at Brown University.Author City: SAN FRANCISCO, CA USA