Sawako Nakayasu

Translation as shared experience

Quinn Gruber

Quinn Gruber reviews three Ugly Duckling titles on or in translation: Except for This Unseen Thread by Ra’ad Abdulqadir; Say Translation Is Art by Sawako Nakayasu; and A Mano / By Hand by Nicole Cecilia Delgado. From the review of Abdulqadir: “Abdulqadir shows how the trauma of unending war weaves itself throughout everyday life: ‘we are exiled at home / blindfolded with lights.’ In Kareem’s translation, each word contributes to a strikingly tangible network of images that reveal the unseen thread of violence that undergirds these ordinary scenes: ‘the schools have gone to war’ and shopowners carry ‘their rifles on their knees.’ When ongoing trauma infuses all parts of life, we ask: ‘Even in this safe place / the strange clamor doesn’t stop?’”

Quinn Gruber reviews three Ugly Duckling titles on or in translation.

Chronology & notes for Sawako Nakayasu's "Some Girls"

Partial page from Sawako Nakayasu, "Selected Chronology & Notes" to the book "Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From"

When Sawako Nakayasu’s book Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From is acquired, some or perhaps most copies will include a pamphlet-style supplement entitled “Selected Chronology & Notes.” Apparently some copies do not include this extra. Yet the notes can be crucial to understanding individual poems in the book.

Erica Hunt: Jump the Clock

The Poetry Project of St. Mark’s Church, in New York, celebrated Erica Hunt’s new selected poems, Jump the Clock, on May 19, 2021 — the first live event at the Project since the onset of the pandemic. 

Episode 5: Brent Wahl

Photo of Brent Wahl with ladders and color block wall art behind him

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Brent Wahl is a visual artist. In the summer of 2018, he completed a major public artwork for the Philadelphia Rail Park. Wahl’s photography, installation, and time-based work has been exhibited in a variety of venues and institutions in the US and Europe.

Episode 2: Sawako Nakayasu

Photo of Sawako Nakayasu reading at a microphone.

Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan and raised in the US; she has also lived in France and China along the way. Her most recent books are The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), and Texture Notes (Letter Machine, 2010), and recent translations include The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika (Canarium Books, 2015) and Tatsumi Hijikata’s Costume en Face (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015).

Of beautiful tangents (PoemTalk #128)

Sueyeun Juliette Lee, 'Perfect Villagers'

From left: Sawako Nakayasu, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, and Donato Mancini.

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Sawako Nakayasu, Donato Mancini, and Gabriel Ojeda-Sague joined Al Filreis to talk about two poems by Sueyuen Juliette Lee. The poems were published in a chapbook titled Perfect Villagers (2006) and later collected in That Gorgeous Feeling (2008). Dear Margaret Cho (actually one of two poems of that title) and “Daniel Dae Kim” were among the pieces from the “perfect villagers” series performed by Lee in a reading she gave at the Kelly Writers House in January of 2007. The recording can be found at Lee’s PennSound page.

'North of the Equator'

'A TransPacific Poetics'

Photo from cover of 'A TransPacific Poetics.'

Coedited by Lisa Samuels and Sawako Nakayasu, A TransPacific Poetics is a unique anthology of essays and experimental poetry by sixteen writers who live in or between different Pacific Rim countries. As the “trans” in the collection’s title suggests, this is a regional trans-Pacific anthology — the first of its kind — that privileges the work of writers defined by the Pacific Ocean.

Coedited by Lisa Samuels and Sawako Nakayasu, A TransPacific Poetics is a unique anthology of essays and experimental poetry by sixteen writers who live in or between different Pacific Rim countries. As the “trans” in the collection’s title suggests, this is a regional trans-Pacific anthology — the first of its kind — that privileges the work of writers defined by the Pacific Ocean. To take a few examples: author and translator Don Mee Choi was born in Korea, moved to the US via Hong Kong, and now lives in Seattle.

Sawako Nakayasu on many topics

New at PennSound

Owing to the precise efforts of Hannah Judd, a member of the PennSound staff, Sawako Nakayasu’s PennSound author page now includes topic-by-topic segmentation of her “LA-Lit” session recorded on December 10, 2006. The direct link to the segments is here:

http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Nakayasu.php#LA-Lit

Bright arrogance #11

Sawako Nakayasu's modernist feedback loops

Clark Lunberry and Hiroko Washizu at Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Park, Tokyo

I met with long-time colleagues and collaborators Clark Lunberry and Hiroko Washizu in Tokyo to discuss Sawako Nakayasu’s book of translations and anti-translations Mouth: Eats Color.

A moment in teaching 'Tender Buttons'

When I was a grad student in the MFA program at Brown, I also had the pleasure of teaching undergrad creative writing classes there. The students were bright, engaged, motivated — partly because they had to fight for a spot to be in the class in the first place. But I had no idea how to teach — I threw readings at the students without any kind of preparation, not having the slightest clue what that would entail, anyway.

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