Sawako Nakayasu: Hurry Home Honey


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These love poems are unusual for their sense of moving between cultures, their awareness of physical space as articulated by the intersection of human beings, the land, and architectural structures. Love itself is now game, sport, speed-time, dance, performance, now contract, conflict, failure, but always a shifting structure of relation.

Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan and has lived mostly in the US since the age of six. She is the author of So we have been given time  Or (2004), Nothing fictional but the accuracy or arrangement (she (2005), and Texture Notes (2009). Translations include Four From Japan (2006), To the Vast Blooming Sky by Sagawa (2007), and For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut by Hiraide (2008). Her own poetry has been translated into Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese. She holds an MFA from Brown University and has received grants from the NEA and PEN for translating Japanese poetry.

“An extraordinary voice — an ease that thinly covers a swirling anxiety, a well-honed knowledge of how things turn out; and yet an unending romance with the process of romance, only rarely referential (and never explicit) to the act or state of satisfaction, sexual or otherwise. A sense of youth that is marked by a hope, a sense of possibility.”
—Craig Watson

“Ten years of love poems is a frightening sight.”
—Steve Dolph

“A weird rewriting of negative capability?”
—Aaron Kunin

“A hat trick of a book, a collection of prose poems, conceptual (sports) writing, poets theater, sound-as-sense associative riffing and artfully cracked lyrics that are cumulative… Throughout, love declares itself in registers alternately serious and playful, rueful and eager, personal to the point of a luminous opacity and “universal” to the point of transparent tongue-in-cheekiness… But it is here [in the section called Crime] that the slowest pieces propel Hurry Home from very good to remarkable.”
—David Perry, Poetry Project Newsletter (Sept. 09)

“This book acts like a gentle tornado, touching down and lifting up again with grace.”
—Laura Wright , ABR (on So we have been given time  Or