“How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?”

I finished writing this review of Claudia Rankine’s new book, Just Us: An American Conversation, during the week in which a White mob devoted to “vigilante antidemocratic paramilitary violence” (in Reconstruction historian Gregory P. Downs’s phrase) broke into the …

Virginia Jackson, UCI Endowed Chair of Rhetoric at the University of California, Irvine, is the author of the forthcoming Before Modernism: Inventing American Lyric in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton University Press) and co-editor (with Yopie Prins) of The Lyric Theory Reader (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). Her first book, Dickinson’s Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading (Princeton University Press, 2005), won the MLA First Book Prize and the Christian Gauss Award. Her essays have appeared in PMLA, Studies in Romanticism, Modern Language Quarterly, New Literary History, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Historical Poetics Working Group.

Itō Grows Ill, A Bird Transforms into a Blossom, and The Giant Trees Stay Unchanged, translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles

The new year slowly rolled around.

I stayed in Japan until the New Year. Dad’s helpers took three days of vacation for the holiday.

My husband returned to California. I flew back to Kumamoto with my youngest daughter, Aiko. Tons …

Hiromi Itō emerged in the 1980s as the leading voice of Japanese women’s poetry with a series of works depicting women’s psychology, sexuality, and motherhood in dramatic new ways. In the late 1990s, she relocated to California, and since then, she has written a number of award-winning books about migrancy, relocation, identity, aging, and death. Jeffrey Angles has translated her early poetry in Killing Kanoko / Wild Grass on the Riverbank (Tilted Axis Press, 2019) and her semifictional work The Thorn-Puller (Stone Bridge Press, forthcoming in 2022) about her transpacific, bicultural life.

Is It July? & Is It August?, translated from the Japanese by Eric E. Hyett and Spencer Thurlow

Toshiko Hirata, one of Japan’s best-known contemporary poets, has published ten volumes of poetry; she also writes novels, plays, and essays. Her collection Shinanoka (Tokyo, Shichōsha, 2004), which translators Eric E. Hyett and Spencer Thurlow call Is It Poetry?, earned Ms. Hirata the Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize for poetry.


Jeffrey Angles is an award-winning translator and poet. His poetry collection written in Japanese, Watashi no hizukehenkōsen (My International Date Line, Shichōsha, 2016), won one of Japan’s most prestigious literary awards, the Yomiuri Prize for Literature, a rare honor accorded only a few non-native speakers since its inception in 1949. He has translated dozens of Japanese writers, focusing on socially engaged, feminist, or queer writers. These include three volumes by the Japanese-born American poet Hiromi Itō: Killing Kanoko (Action Books, 2009), Wild Grass on the Riverbank (Action Books, 2014), and The Thorn-Puller (Stone Bridge Press, forthcoming in 2022).

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