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Monday, May 29, 2017

A Way with Words (for the Birds)

I am thrilled and grateful to have a poem I wrote during my residency at Denali National Park & Preserve read on the NPR-affiliated radio show/podcast 'A Way with Words' by host Martha Barnette. It's a great show/podcast about word usage, etymology, etc. You should listen to the whole episode (you should subscribe!), and if you do you'll hear my poem 'The Magpie' beginning at about 32:05.
You can read all my poems from my residency and learn about the residency program at the park website here.

I'm really grateful to have the support both of the park and of Martha Barnette and 'A Way with Words.' I hope to do as much I can to support them right back. So be sure help me out checking out what they've got to offer (see above). Thank you!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Poetry Reading in Kobe

Isobar Press will have a poetry reading in Kobe on Sunday, June 4, to introduce Peter Robinson's new book Approach to Distance: Selected Poems from Japan. Also reading will be Isobar Press owner and editor Paul Rossiter, and Isobar poets Yoko Danno and me. 

Please join us if you can. The reading begins at 5:30 pm and will be at Bar Iznt, a nice open yet cozy space with some food along with libation. There is no cover charge, and no reservations are necessary. The address is M:2nd.bldg. 4F 1-1-8 Shimoyamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe. More information and a map are available here



If you have questions, reach out to me here or at my website.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Font of Language

The literary journal The Font is specifically for language teachers. It began in Japan, and for awhile many of its contributors had some kind of relationship to Japan. Happily, the word has gotten out and the journal is now publishing writers from all over the globe. I'm pleased to have a poem in their most recent issue with the well-chosen theme of Boundaries.

If you have any work that might be appropriate for this journal, here are the submissions guidelines. They do accept reprints, as long as they match the themes and aims of the journal.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Residency Opp for Japanese Writers and Translators

From my friend Sue,  a heads-up regarding this call for applications. For more details, check this website (from which I cut and pasted everything below):

Writers’ Centre Norwich invites applications for a residency opportunity for writers and translators from Japan. We are offering two UK residencies of up to four weeks each, in July and August 2017, with the support of the Nippon Foundation. 
The overall aim of these residencies is to promote contemporary Japanese writing and culture in the UK. The residencies offer time to write or translate, in the peaceful surroundings of Norwich, UNESCO City of Literature. There will also be the opportunity to travel to other parts of the UK for research purposes.
Deadline for applications is Monday 24 April 2017.

Who can apply?

The residencies are open to creative writers and literary translators based in Japan, with an interest in spending time in the UK. You will need to demonstrate some track record of publication. We will give priority to applicants with a good working knowledge of English. 

What we offer

  • Up to four weeks in the UK to work on the writing or translation project of your choice
  • Return economy class airfare from Japan to the UK
  • Self-catering accommodation in the centre of Norwich
  • Small stipend to cover living costs
  • Some travel within the UK for research purposes
  • Support from the staff at WCN.

What you will offer

  • A willingness to promote contemporary Japanese writing and culture, and to engage in the literary and cultural life of Norwich
  • Two short blog pieces about your experience in Norwich
  • Your availability for any interview, filming or media opportunities that may arise during your stay.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Creativity through Music

I listen to a lot of poetry podcasts, naturally. In addition, I listen to two music podcasts in which musicians and/or composers discuss their process and their thoughts. I find these podcasts really helpful in thinking about: creativity, putting together a larger project, knowing when you reached the desired effect in a piece, cooperative artwork, and so many other artist issues and interests.

One podcast I'm listening to now is the Peabody Award-winning Meet the Composer (fashioned after the old radio show of the same name). It's host is renowned violist Nadia Sirota. The new season started last month, but prior to that they played some old audio clips from the original show, so there's plenty to listen to, along with the two previous seasons. You can hear John Cage, Meredith Monk, Caroline Shaw (who I discovered via this podcast, and now I'm a huge fan--she's what I listen to when I write, if I listen to anything), Donnacha Dennehy, and many others discussing the nature of music and sound, creativity, artistic challenges, etc.

The other podcast is Song Exploder, in which musicians discuss how they made their songs, layer by layer. Inspiration, improvisation, collaboration, adjustments, technicalities--all that and more are discussed by artists as disparate as Norah Jones, Metallica, and the composer who scored La La Land.

I'm learning from the masters, people. Oh so slowly, but learning.