River of Stars by Yosano Akiko
Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko

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Yosano Akiko (1878-942) is one of the most famous Japanese writers of the twentieth century. She is the author of more than seventy-five books, including twenty volumes of original poetry and the definitive translation into modern Japanese of the Tale of the Genji. Although probably best known for her exquisite erotic poetry, Akiko's work also championed the causes of feminism, pacifism, and social reform. Akiko's poetry is profoundly direct, often passionate, exposing the complexity of everyday emotions in poetic language stripped of artifice and presenting the full breadth of her poetic vision. Included are ninety-one of Akiko's tanka (a traditional five-line form of verse) and a dozen of her longer poems written in the modern style.

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Yosano's romantic verse and concern for the welfare of the individual inspired her contemporaries and generations of later poets. While later feminist writers felt the need to abandon their traditional roles in order to write, Yosano felt that her love affair and eventual marriage with her teacher of tanka (Yosano Tekkan), her raising of 11 children, and her life as a homemaker and mother stimulated her creativity. Sam Hamill was born in 1942 in Utah. He attended Los Angeles Valley College and the University of California in Santa Barbara. He became a poet, and author who taught inmates in prison. He established Copper Canyon Press with Tree Swenson and other poets. He put out the Sam Hamill Papers which were composed of Hamill's own poetry, his work as editor for other poet's works and records of some of his other activities. He also received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Guggenheim Memorial fellowship. He is author of over 30 books including original poetry and essays and translations from Chinese, Japanese, and Greek. Among his works are Nootka Rose and Dumb Luck.
Published March 18, 1997 by Shambhala. 154 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Akiko (1878-1942) was so respected among Japanese poets that the period in which she wrote is nicknamed the Age of Akiko.

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