Nerve Ant: Japanese Poet Kiwao Nomura

On Thursday, September 15th, 2011 Poets House hosted poet Kiwao Nomura. Nomura is touring the states promoting his book Spectacle and Pigsty (Omindawn 2011). This is the first book by the award-winning author to be translated into English. The book was translated by Forrest Gander and Kyoko Yoshida, who were also part of the Poets House reading and celebration.

Nomura talked about the influence of SakutarĊ Hagiwara’s Howling at the Moon on his work as well as Ryuichi Tamura and Gozo Yoshimasu.

Forrest Gander noted that Nomura’s work also is influenced by shamanism and wondered how Nomura, a urban poet, became interested in it. Nomura explained that shamanism to him is the opposite of transcendence which is an attempt to “go upwards” and “beyond the body” whereas, for him, shamanism is about “remaining here and hearing what is coming up from the earth.”

Nomura read his poems in Japanese and Gander and Yoshida read the poems in English. After the reading the audience got a chance to mingle with Nomura, Gander, and Yoshida while enjoying a wine and cheese reception.

Here’s Nomura’s set-list: “Coda” “Or Manhattan” “Deja vu Avenue” “Or Waves” (joined by dancer Mariko Nomura)

-steven karl & Hitomi Yoshio