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Archive for February, 2013

101 Modern Japanese Poems, anthology


February 24, 2013


A new anthology of modern Japanese poetry in English is reviewed by

writer and critic David Cozy today in The Japan Times. The review

makes clear that, “despite the admirable and sustained efforts of the

journal Poetry Kanto, and the tireless work of translators such as Jeffrey

Angles, Hiroaki Sato and, with this collection, Paul McCarthy, modern

Japanese poetry remains little known outside the archipelago.” That said,

he adds, “There’s no question, therefore, that this book is necessary.”


For the complete review of 101 MODERN JAPANESE POEMS, 

compiled by Makoto Ooka, translated by Paul McCarthy, edited by

Janine Beichman, click here.

The Ecopoetry Anthology

Ann Fisher-Wirth (Poetry Kanto 2012 & 2006 contributor) and Laura

Gray-Street have co-edited the new “The Ecopoetry Anthology.”

62367 10151655528183238 1265145192 n The Ecopoetry Anthology


In the  preface to their book they address the question of how to

define ‘ecopoetry’:


Nature poetry has existed as long as poetry has existed. Around

1960, however, public attention increasingly turned to the

burgeoning environmental crisis, and nature poetry began to

reflect this concern. In recent decades, the term “ecopoetry”

has come into use to designate poetry that in some way is

shaped by and responds specifically to that crisis. The term

has no precise definition and rather fluid boundaries, but some

things can usefully be said about it. Generally, this poetry

addresses contemporary problems and issues in ways that are

ecocentric and that respect the integrity of the other-than-human

world. It challenges the belief that we are meant to have

dominion over nature and is skeptical of a hyperrationality that

would separate mind from body–and earth and its creatures

from human beings–and that would give preeminence to

fantasies of control. Some of it is based in the conviction that

poetry can help us find our way back to an awareness that we

are at one with the more-than-human world.


They group the book’s generous contents into three categories–nature

poetry, environmental poetry, and ecological poetry. These groupings

are intended, the editors say, as a starting point or as a nexus of

interactions that constitute an ecopoetry which allows for capacities,

they argue, of “contemplation, activism, and self-reflexivity.”


Their selection of poets runs the gamut from the historical–over 100

pages long, beginning with Whitman and on to modernists like

Stevens, Pound, Eliot, Crane and Hughes– to the contemporary,

which includes 176 poets, arranged alphabetically, from A.R.

Ammons to Robert Wrigley. Variety is the keyword here, as well as

excellence as a standard applied to the poems they have selected.

Which makes this anthology a pleasure to engage with.


“The Ecopoetry Anthology,” with an introduction by Robert Hass, is

available here.


Philip Rowland’s “before music”

February 15, 2013



Philip Rowland, editor in Tokyo of NOON: journal of the short poem,

has recently published a collection of haiku, and we are here spreading

the word to interested readers and affeciannados of haiku. He reports

that he has hopes of getting the journal up and running again, in

some form, for 2013.


Here’s a link to order:


and some comments about his work below:


“Philip Rowland’s poems build meaning from sound with a subtle and subliminal grace, bringing new surprises and joy with each reading. Zukofsky and Corman (Rowland is clearly in that lineage) would admire his faithfulness to every word, his clean lines, and his discreet narrative of love and family. He strikes home with the immediacy and absolute commitment of Hosai and Ippekiro. To me, before music marks a rediscovery of haiku for the English-speaking world that should prove as invigorating as the modernist one of a century ago.”


John Martone


Philip Rowland’s before music could just as well be titled before mind. That’s where his poems take me — to the charged cusp of cognition. It happens in a flash but the words reverberate long on the page in concentric circles of verbal electricity.


what’s left of the light the music absorbs

You can’t step in the same Rowland poem twice.


- Joseph Massey

Call for submissions, Poetry Kanto 2013

February 14, 2013


Poetry Kanto is currently open to reading submissions

for its 2013 issue. The reading period will continue through

June. The new issue will be published digitally–its first–in

the Fall. For further details, please see the ‘Submit’ page on

the recently relaunched Poetry Kanto website.


update on Poetry Kanto

February 2, 2013


The Poetry Kanto website was built and has been maintained since 2005,  featuring sample poems from each issue up until 2009. We are currently rebuilding and upgrading the website and will relaunch it soon. Though the print publication of Poetry Kanto has ended due to university budgetary constraints, the aim of the new website is not only to archive the legacy of Poetry Kanto itself but also, potentially, to bring together information on the Kanto Poetry Center and poetry-related research and translation from Japan and around the world. We hope readers of this blog will visit the new website when it is finally up and running in the near future.