If you think of haiku when you think of Japanese poetry, this book will be a huge surprise. The strange and wild poems of Kiwao Nomura deal with sex and loss and memory by making unpredictable leaps of association. Imagine Fugazi singing philosophy and you get close. Inspired by shamanism, Kiwao Nomura sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before and like something you want to hear over and over. He is one of the two or three of the most influential living Japanese poets, and his work will be as stunningly original and compelling to contemporary Americans as haiku was to the late Victorians. Anyone interested in making contact with Japanese culture will want to read Spectacle & Pigsty.
KIWAO NOMURA was born October 20, 1951 in Saitama Prefecture. He graduated from Waseda University, majoring in Japanese literature. A leading writer of the post-war generation, he is in the forefront of contemporary poetry. At the same time, he is known to be a prolific critic, translator, and essayist on comparative poetics. His work has been translated into many languages and published in magazines abroad, especially in France and the United States. He has performed internationally and released two CDs of collaborations with musicians. He played a leading role in Contemporary Poetry Festival 95, Poetry Goes Out and Contemporary Poetry Festival 97, Dance and Poésie. In 2007, he organized The Festival of International Poetry: Toward the Pacific Rim. From August to November 2005, he was a fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in the United States. In December of the same year, he served as a director of the Japan-European Contemporary Poetry Festival in Tokyo. KYOKO YOSHIDA was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She was a participant of the 2005 International Writing Program at University of Iowa. Her stories have been published in The Massachusetts Review, Chelsea, The Cream City Review and The Beloit Fiction Journal, among other places. She is working on a novel about the visit of American Negro League baseball players to Japan in the 1930’s. In addition, she translates Japanese contemporary poetry and drama. Recently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University, she teaches English at Keio University and lives in Yokohama. FORREST GANDER is the author of books of poems, translations, and prose, much of it published by New Directions. He has edited several anthologies and translated individual books by Latin American writers. Two of his books of translation have been PEN Translation Award Finalists. Recent titles include Eye Against Eye (poetry with photographs by Sally Mann), the novel As a Friend, and translations of Mexican poet Coral Bracho (Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems). A United States Artist Rockefeller fellow, Gander is also the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Howard foundations. He is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Brown University.
Forrest Gander has redefined our sense of contemporary Mexican poetry with his wide-ranging selection from Coral Bracho’s compelling body of work.” Judge Lawrence Venuti
"Mr. Kiwao Nomura’s New Inspiration exhibits the extraordinary freedom, the innate openness, and above all the invaluable consolation (that communicates a new kind of lull, an inexplicable respite to its reader). This collection may open a door to the poetry to come." Gozo Yoshimasu, author, A Thousand Steps . . . and More, on New Inspiration
"If I were to count poets in Japan today whose enthusiastic love for poetry is most sincere and passionate, Nomura Kiwao would be on the very top of the list. Perhaps there are many others who feel the same way in their heart. The challenge is to show it in action. Considering the body of work Mr. Nomura has produced in recent years, he is incomparable to others both in his consistency and power to execute." Makoto Ooka, poet and literary critic
"While Rimbaud talks about the path to poetry through delirium, Kiwao Nomura tries to shed poetry in the midst of delirium. As if trying to witness a creation of new poetics at its end, he reiterates his wanderings in deliriumwhich is perhaps an event that elucidates what modernity is." Shuri Kido
"Nomura commands headlines, and headlines festivals, in his native country for poems thaton the evidence heresucceed through astonishment, shock, and disorder, almost in the manner of Kathy Acker or William S. Burroughs. . . . Gander, a distinguished poet and a prolific translator. . . teams up with Yoshida . . . to generate startling, idiomatic versions." Publishers Weekly (August 15, 2011)