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Sugimoto Maiko / 杉本真維子

0902sugimoto maiko Sugimoto Maiko / 杉本真維子

Sugimoto Maiko (1973-  ) published her first chapbook in 1998. After receiving an English degree from Musashino Junior College, she worked in finance while trying to write. She quit her job and went back to school to study philosophy at Gakushuin University. Her first collection, Tenkaki (Ignition Time, Shichôsha, 2003) received the Gendaishi Techô journal’s prize for emerging poets. Her second book, Sodeguchi no Dobutsu (Shirtcuff Animals, Shichôsha, 2007) won the Japan Poets Association’s H-shi poetry prize in March 2008.

   In a recent interview, Sugimoto cites phenomenology and the work of philosopher Edmund Husserl as sources of inspiration. Her work can be read as a poetic effort to cut through the perceptions of daily life and reach the truth of experience. She says she prefers to write in the pre-dawn hours, when “the air starts to come undone.*”

*from a profile by Nagase Akito, Yomiuri Shimbun online, June 6, 2008.

Translated by Marianne Tarcov, a former 2006-07 Fulbright Fellow at Kanto Gakuin University, Yokohama, who is now at the graduate school of the University of California, Berkeley, to further studies on Japanese poetry and culture.