Since Fukushima is a collection of poems written by Wago Ryoichi and translated from Japanese by Judy Halebsky and Ayako Takahashi. The collection includes tweets from the first days after 3.11, during the meltdown of the nuclear power station Fukushima Daiichi, and follows the catastrophe for ten years. Thanks for the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science in supporting this work. The collection includes an interview on ecopoetry with Wago Ryoichi and California poet Brenda Hillman. The book is available from Vagabond Press. Translations from this collection are online in Two Lines and Poetry Northwest.
With Tomoyuki Endo, I translated Mizho Ishida’s poem “Moon Dog,” which was published in Two Lines in 2018. I’ve worked with Yuka Tsukagoshi to translate her poems into English. These translations have appeared in Poetry Kanto and in Big Bridge. From 2009–2011, Tsukagoshi, Ayumu Akutsu and I edited and translated the bilingual poetry journal Eki Mae. Vol. 1 , Vol. 2, and Vol. 3 are online. Masashi Musha interviewed me about translation and Japanese poetry. The interview was published in Poetry International .
I gave a Bagley Wright Lecture, From Haiku to Collage: a Body-Based Poetics in Seattle at the Hugo House. I had just hiked Dewa Sanzan and other parts of Basho’s route in Narrow Road to the Interior. On this journey, I read Hiroaki Sato’s translation of Basho’s haibun and also Haruo Shirane’s Traces of Dreams. The talk addresses writing as a body-based practice, pushing aside writing as deep thoughts or sedentary contemplation. Two blog posts accompany the talk, one about Basho’s teaching for pine, study pine, for bamboo, study bamboo and another that connects free improvisation in dance with writing from a blank page. Angela Terry, from Haiku Northwest, joined me for a Q &A. A recording of the talk in online here.
Jubilith Moore directed my play, The Weaver and the Dress, at Willamette University in Oregon. We’re calling it a play but it’s a little bit closer to some other form we haven’t yet named. And these students can do it — wonderful actors and dancers and singers. They have a great theatre program here. They performed the noh play, Hagoromo (The Feathered Mantle), paired with the Weaver. I started working on this piece as a five voice poem while the Artist-in-Residence at Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco. In 2011, we showed the work-in-progress at NOHspace. Since then, I revised the overall structure and put in more narrative frames and dialog. The play is inspired in part by Lady Rokujo in Tale of Genji and the dress used to represent Lady Aoi in the noh version of that story. It’s one of a five play sequence that I am writing that looks at the art and love relationships left unresolved in the lives of artists Frida Kahlo, Emily Carr, Eva Hess and writers Sylvia Plath and Gertrude Stein. Moore did a fantastic job bringing it to the stage.