Attention Span 2011 | Sawako Nakayasu
Juliana Leslie | More Radiant Signal | Letter Machine | 2010
The poems feel diaphanous, and like they wouldn’t fare too well in a bar fight, except for the fact that we are all thrown off our stools by a strange and beautiful light that disappears when you turn away, or does it.
Don Mee Choi | The Morning News Is Exciting | Action | 2010
There is so much I love here. If this is postcolonial literature I want to write postcolonial literature too, though I can’t, being Japanese and/or American.
Zachary Schomburg | The Man Suit | Black Ocean | 2007
Zachary Schomburg | Scary, No Scary | Black Ocean | 2009
Love is when a boat is half-buried by all the cobwebs of eyelashes in the ocean.
Kiwao Nomura, trans. Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander | Spectacle & Pigsty | Omnidawn | 2011
Hiromi Ito, trans. Jeffrey Angles | Killing Kanoko | Action | 2009
Nomura’s poems are just as hypnotizing as they are in the original Japanese–darkly gorgeous and radiant, as the ‘orgasm-monger plods past/ nerve ants plod past.’ Norma Cole in her book of essays compares the expansiveness of theater-making to that of her experiences with group translation, and I think she is onto something there–perhaps the future is in collaborative translation.
One of the first things I heard about Hiromi Ito was that Japanese women in the 80s were trembling in the closet reading her work with a flashlight. Some have chalked up her work to an aesthetics of the shocking (as in, Kanoko is the name of her own daughter), but it’s been a very important part of Japanese feminist poetry these last few decades.
Frances Chung | Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple | Wesleyan | 2000
Chinatown is a place to go eat chinks. It’d be kind of silly to label this work something like the Chinese-American New York School, but I just did and yet it’s much more than that–in fact the last thing I want to do is to wrap it up under some Chinese-American bubble because it cuts across these lines, similar-different to Teresa Hak Kyung Cha. Walter Lew sent it to me this summer when I was bugging him about Yi Sang. Thank you, Walter. Thank you, Frances. I have always loved the color celadon, but now joining it on the palette is duck shit green.
Norma Cole | To Be at Music: Essays & Talks | Omnidawn | 2010
A guided tour of Norma Cole’s readings, thinking, and practice…including some excellent writings on translation, Mina Loy, and color. Now the heartbreak of the rational.
Lily Hoang | The Evolutionary Revolution | Les Figues | 2010
Their bodies begin as uncooked noodles, stiff and starchy, but as their heads wander, they limpen, soften, become saturated with dream.
Miryam Sas | Fault Lines: cultural memory and Japanese surrealism | Stanford | 1999
It’s true that I’m working on a Japanese Modernism project right now, but as I go back into this book, I am finding that it offers a conversation about more than just that particular time and place–examples of how to think about cultural transactions, or write about writing, or consider Surrealism inside and outside of its original and secondary contexts.
Marisol Limon Martinez | After you, dearest language | Ugly Duckling | 2005
This analogue version of hypertext is a wonderful way to house a narrative, and makes me think about more analog-digital potentials in poetry. (I also recently realized that I am married to a technophile-technophobe.)
More Sawako Nakayasu here.