Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía

Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía es un espacio destinado a la comunidad nikkei para compartir historias a través de diversas composiciones sobre cultura, historia y experiencia personal. La columna presentará una amplia variedad de formas poéticas y contenido con temas que incluyen historia, raíces, identidad; historia—el pasado en el presente; la comida como ritual, celebración y legado; rituales y supuestos de tradiciones; lugar, ubicación y comunidad así como el amor.

Hemos invitado a la autora, artista y poetisa traci kato-kiriyama para que sea la curadora de esta columna de poesía mensual, en donde publicaremos a uno o dos poetas los tercer jueves de cada mes, desde escritores mayores o jóvenes que recién empiezan en la poesía a autores publicados de todo el país. Esperamos descubrir una red de voces vinculadas entre sí a través de innumerables diferencias y experiencias conectadas.

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Stone Songs

Happy New 2023, everyone!  What better way to begin than with the beauty of poetry and prose from Amy Uyematsu and her most recent collection, That Blue Trickster Time (What Books Press).  Here, we have three selections from a wise and fiery collection with a life force she breathes through her words of the inanimate, the historical, the body, the memory that sings, dances, and cries throughout—enjoy!

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Amy Uyematsu is a Sansei poet and teacher from Los Angeles. She has six published collections, including her most recent, That Blue Trickster Time. Her …

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Expansion

Poet, educator, and co-founder of Yonsei Memory Project, Brynn Saito brings the Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column to a close for 2022 with writing that is at turns spare and present, expansive and lush—all the things I crave in poetry at this time of year, when the chill of this season tends to bring us to a quiet space earlier each evening. I share Brynn’s desire for “the sitting place where ghosts visit” and her writing provides a necessary stillness to contemplate our cravings. Her poetry gives permission to be close to all that pulls at us - prayers for …

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In memoriam...Jim Matsuoka

It is with my heaviest, yet most grateful heart that I present this poetic speech from our beloved Jim Matsuoka, who passed on towards the end of October. Jim meant so much to surely countless many and I am simply another person who benefited greatly from his presence in so many threads of my life.

He was a staunch supporter, attendee, and featured artist over literally all the years of Tuesday Night Cafe since its inception in February of 1999. He was a champion of my artistic work from my earliest days as a young poet, actor, and performance artist …

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Fruits of connection

Happy autumn, all! This month we feature organic farmer, artist, and Yonsei Memory Project co-founder, Nikiko Masumoto with a delicious set of poetry that reaches us from soil nurtured through the generations and welcomes “city cousins..into a relationship with the land.”

Nikiko was asking questions when penning this piece—“What will happen to our farm if people don’t remember what a succulent peach tastes like, or perhaps someone has never tasted one at peak ripeness? How can I help nurture connections with other yonsei and gosei whose ancestors farmed in the same countryside that I get to call home?” In particular …

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An Unstoppable Fluttering

Yonsei entrepreneur and writer Kelsey Kawana was introduced to me by kindred friend and artist Beau Sia, and I was honored to support them both in co-producing an upcoming short film, The Unreachable Star (more in Kelsey’s bio). It was such a delight to later come across her wonderful poetry and we’re excited to present a few pieces from her 2018 book, The Long Drive Home. The three pieces shared here give insight to her voice and what she is proclaiming to the world of herself, whispering to a former love, and witnessing from places of awe, love and …

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activiist Amy Uyematsu Brynn Saito Jim Matsuoka Kelsey Kawana Manzanar NCRR Pilgrimage poem poems poet poetry