Tokyo Poetry Journal
Featuring contemporary Japanese poets in English translation, ToPoJo Volume 12 is another big labor of love containing over 200 pages of poetry one should read to know the state of Japan's poetry scene right now.
This volume sees debuts from Aoyagi Natsumi, Endo Hitsuji, Martha Nakamura, Kawaguchi Harumi, Matsuda Tomoharu, Minesawa Noriko, Koori Hironobu, Sonic Nurse, and more, plus favorites Takahashi Mutsuo, Fuzuki Yumi, Michiyama Rain, Arai Takako, Enomoto Saclaco, and Nagae Yūki; interview with Stephen Snyder, essay by Yotsumoto Yasuhiro, book reviews, art by Shiraishi Setsuhi.
The volume's launch took place on May 12 at La Cabina with a word by the volume's editor in chief Jordan A.Y. Smith and associate editor Zoria Petkoska K. There were bilingual readings by Sonic Nurse, Endo Hitsuji, fukudapero, Aoyagi Natsumi, Arai Takako, Fuzuki Yumi, Fujita Yukihiro, Yotsumoto Yasuhiro, Koori Hironobu and current Japan Kotoba Slam champion Michiyama Rain. Reading the translations were members of the ToPoJo team: Jordan, Jeffrey Johnson, Taylor Mignon, Joy Waller and Simon Scott as well as translator Kendall Heitzman.
The lo-fi electronica set from SANTA DHARMA transported us to some other levels, adding another layer of artistry to the whole evening.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support poetry. The volume is also available for purchase online.
Big thanks to Luis Patron for all the photos.