Tokyo Poetry Journal Volume 11: Tokyo City / Slice is a love letter to Tokyo. It was a long time coming, delayed during times so uncertain, "uncertain times" has become a phrase we are all now allergic to.
"This volume was a long time coming. From Drunk Poets See God in Gari Gari, when said poets would wander into Shibuya walking after midnight. From poetry collaborations taking root in Yoyogi Park. From gatherings to write poems to the full moon, shrouded in clouds. From burning poems only to recreate them with fiery inspiration. Everything you find in this city is a trigger.
––from Editors' Letter, by Zoria Petkoska and Mat Chiappe
At the launch party on July 16, 2022, at The Hive Jinnan, the editors opened the event by reading from their letter. The poetry reading was then kicked off by editor-in-chief Jordan A. Y. Smith with a multilingual poem performed in his captivating style. He was followed by Joy Waller and Simon Scott. After the ToPoJo team broke the ice, one of the volume's youngest contributors, Kana Hozoji, took the stage to read "Bodies of Water", a bilingual poem in Japanese and English. That concluded part one of the reading.
In the intermission, ToPoJo Volume 11 cover artist, Simon Kalajdjiev, created digital glitch art live, projected on the screen accompanied by original music by Agustin Spinetti.
Some of the glitch art created during the performance by the artist:
The second block of readers started with Alvin Wong and his multimedia performance with sound, projections and an object installation.
Taylor Mignon and David Severn performed together, combining experimental poetry reading and music.
Marc Sebastian-Jones had an emotional performance reading several poems accompanied by sounds.
Andrew Gebert read his poem both in Japanese and English.
The evening was concluded with an electronic music performance by Agustin Spinetti. Spinetti creates captivating sets of music and AI-enhanced visuals that look like constellations of sounds. After a while he lets the audience participate and change the sounds at will from his phone.
Finally, Zoria and Mat read the invisible poem – invisible on the page but everyone could collect via a stamp at the event. (Read more about how to collect the invisible poem here).
Tokyo Poetry Journal Volume 11: Tokyo City / Slice contains poetry and translations by: Mat Chiappe, Alvin Wong, Zoria Petkoska, Taylor Mignon, Sarah Caulfield, Andrew, David Severn, Jordan A. Y. Smith, Simon Scott, Andrew Hanson, Carl Walsh, Alan Ojeda (translated by Griselda Perrota), Seira Duncan, Kana Hozoji, Kathleen Hellen, Misumi Mizuki (translated by Andrew Gebert), Nagae Yūki (translated by Jordan A. Y. Smith), Terayama Shūji (translated by Marc Sebastian-Jones), Matthew Zuckerman, Trish Shishikura, Christian Hernández, Barbara Summerhawk, Ibaragi Noriko (translated by Andrew Houwen and Peter Robinson).
Reviews of works by Tanikawa Shuntaro and Miho Nonaka.
Art by Simon Kalajdjiev (cover), Erica Ward, & Apolo Cacho.
All photos by Morgan Fisher.
See more photos of the launch below: