Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Asian & Asian American Studies. Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Cole Swensen. This revolutionary volume of work by Kiriu Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Takako Arairepresents the first book of its kind—a bilingual anthology dedicated to women working in modern and cross cultural poetry milieus. Published collaboratively by Belladonna Books and Litmus Press in honor of the Festival of Contemporary Japanese Women Poets with support by NYSCA.
"Litmus and Belladonna have produced a gorgeous volume... [T]he collection presents a perspective on Japanese poetry in its contemporary situation and on the tradition these poems rise out of and/or against... The collection also reminds me that the most daring poems do not experiment merely for the sake of innovation: they innovate so we may discover."—Matthew Henriksen
"FOUR FROM JAPAN showcases a diverse and reflective body of Japanese verse and other writings that is strongly recommended reading, a seminal addition to academic library poetry collections, and a welcome contribution to Japanese Cultural Studies supplemental reading lists."—Midwest Book Review
"Kiriu Minashita, Kyong-Mi Park, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Takako Arai...concern themselves with the elasticity of language and the variation of form—at the very least, the poems are all activation and possibility. They are borrowers. They unmask plural complications. For none of these poets want you to have a singular idea of 'Japan,' 'Japanese-ness,' or 'poetry.' The anthology allows its reader to explode one's own conceptions and definitions and explore beyond the familiar... FOUR FROM JAPAN: CONTEMPORARY POETRY & ESSAYS BY WOMEN is one of the best anthologies I've encountered because the book shows a practice of de-centralization instead of map-making and canon-formation. The works are presented in translation and in Japanese; they provide writing by the poets in both lines and in prose; and they all interlock and complicate one another without presenting a narrow view of what Japanese poetry by women can be."—John Rufo
John Rufo @ PloughsharesGoro Takano @ TinFish PressSteven Karl @ Cold Front MagazineMatthew Henriksen @ Poetry Project NewsletterFestival of Contemporary Japanese Women Poets @ PennSoundLaura Sims @ Rain TaxiMidwest Book Review
Kiriu Minashita was born in Kanagawa Prefecture. After receiving the Gendaishitecho Prize in 2003, she published her first collection of poetry, Sonic Peace, in 2005. The same book was awarded the Nakahara Chuya prize in 2006 and nominated for the H-Prize. She also teaches courses at several universities in Tokyo.Kyong-Mi Park is a second-generation Korean living and writing in Tokyo. Since publishing her first book of poetry Supu (Soup) in 1980, her writing has appeared in Japanese publications including La Mer, Waseda Bungaku, Ginka, and Asahi Weekly. Park's work has been translated into English, Korean and Serbian. Park currently teaches at Wako University and the Yotsuya Art Studium.Ryoko Sekiguchi was born in Tokyo, and has lived in Paris since 1997. Her books in Japanese include Cassiopeia Peca (1993), (com)position (1996), Diapositives Luminescentes (2000), TWO MARKETS, ONCE AGAIN (The Post-Apollo Press, 2001), and Tropical Botanical Garden (2004), all published by Shoshi Yamada. Since 1999 she has translated her own writing into French and other works by Japanese poets.Takako Arai was born in Kiryu City, Gunma Prefecture to a family involved in textile manufacturing, a major industry in Kiryu. Her first book, Hao Bekki, was published in 1997, and Tamashi Dance, was published in 2007 and awarded the 41st Oguma Hideo Prize. She was a founding editor of the journal Shimensoka between 1992 and 1995, and since 1998 she has been the editor of Mi'Te. Arai currently teaches Japanese language to foreign students studying at the Center for International Exchange at Saitama University.Author City: Tokyo JAP
Cole Swensen is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry. She is the co-editor of the 2009 Norton anthology American Hybrid, the founding editor of La Presse Books, and a translator of contemporary French poetry, prose, and art criticism. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN USA Award for Literary Translation, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, among others. She teaches in Brown University's Literary Arts Program, where she is currently Department Chair.Author City: PROVIDENCE, RI USA
Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan and has lived mostly in the US since the age of six. Her most recent books are The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), TEXTURE NOTES (Letter Machine, 2010), and HURRY HOME HONEY (Burning Deck, 2009). Her recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika (Canarium Books, 2015) and Tatsumi Hijikata's Costume en Face (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015). She received the 2009 Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent. She has received fellowships from the NEA and PEN, and her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese.Author City: USA