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Reviews of Tokyo Poetry Journal

Interview January 2020 with Wall Street International, by Alex Watson

"Rebel Poets Against the Machine: An interview with Tokyo Poetry Journal editors Jeffrey Johnson, Taylor Mignon and Jordan A. Y. Smith"

More than a literary journal, ToPoJo presents itself as “a space of resistance” to “an historic national refusal to procreate, an economy that generates disappointment… and a government that turns to superflat pop arts for international image-doctoring while it tries to eat the humanities for breakfast.”

Review: Joy Waller, Pause::Heartbeat (Excursions 2019)

Review in Metropolis by Camille Miller, "Into the Void: Joy Waller’s “Pause :: Heartbeat” Explores the Human Extreme" (May 10, 2019) 

"Grounded in the unfiltered imagery of sex, addiction and memories that perpetually haunt, the 41 poems in Waller’s debut collection demonstrate her ability to not only gaze into the abyss, but have a conversation with it."

Review/Interview: Joy Waller, Pause::Heartbeat (Excursions 2019)

Article and interview by Rebecca Saunders, "Joy Waller's 'Pause :: Heartbeat' tackles intimacy and solitude in Tokyo," The Japan Times

ToPoJo’s “Deep Beatitude” September 2018 review of TPJ volume 5 in the Kyoto Journal

"In truth, the roster of contributors is substantial. Familiar East-West Lit veterans include the inestimable Cid Corman, heavyweight Tanikawa Shuntaro, Leza Lowitz, Keida Yusuke, and the late-Hillel Wright and Edith Shiffert respectively. Ira Cohen offers a nutty poem “Tokyo Birdhouse” for Shiraishi, and Anne Waldman has an epitaph for Nanao." 

Review July 2018: Larry Sawyer on TPJ volume 5 in Milk Magazine:

"...a celebration of the variousness of the world, a call for sanity, a Dionysian bacchanalia, and also a prescient warning about the precariousness of life on earth. I enjoyed these poems of joy, death, and romance. As the Beats relied on imagery, confession, and a tinge of surrealism, those poets here also present an assault on the senses that awakens and instills wonder but also reminds us to practice enduring patience and to realize our connection with the natural world."


Review March 2018: John Dougill reviews TPJ volume 5 in Writers in Kyoto.

"...for anyone who loves words, for anyone who can feel the beat, for anyone who has ever aspired to escape the banal, this is it, this is where it’s at. This is poetry as life and liberation, poetry as inspiration."


Review March 2018: Japan Times, "‘Tokyo Poetry Journal’ is back, this time exploring the beats," by Iain Maloney (reviewing TPJvolume 5).

"The fifth issue of the Tokyo Poetry Journal (ToPoJo) shows it has the scope of ambition and the depth of talent to become a lasting landmark in Japan’s English-language poetry scene."

Review October 2017: in Metropolis, by Joan Bailey.

"The poet (and subsequently, the translator), like any good storyteller, has tapped into something intrinsically human and distilled things down to their essence. The reader is touched, disturbed or made to laugh and is irresistibly drawn back for one more look."


Review July 2017: announcing TPJ Volume 4; review by poet Kuwahara Takiya (in Japanese)


Review July 2017: Tokyo Humanities blog 


Article July 2017: Cha: An Asian Literary Journal featured an essay by Jordan A. Y. Smith, "Of Phenomeno/graphy of Poetry of Tokyo" discussing TPJ and the whole poetry world in Tokyo


Review July 2017: by poet Matsuoka Miya, featured in TPJ Volume 4 (in Japanese)


Review Fall 2016: by Iain Maloney in Japan Times


Review May 2016: by Simon Scott in Japan Times "Giving Voice to Foreign Talent via the Spoken Word"

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