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Sawako Nakayasu

Sawako Nakayasu is a contemporary poet and translator who was born in Japan. Her translation of Takashi Hiraide’s For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut won the Best Translated Book Award (2009) from Three Percent, as well as a PEN Translation Fund Award in 2005.


Alice Iris Red Horse

Poetry by Yoshimasu Gozo

translated by Sawako Nakayasu, Hiroaki Sato, Eric Selland, Jeffrey Angles, Richard Arno, Derek Gromadzki, Sayuri Okamoto, Auston Stewart, Kyoko Yoshida and Jordan A. Y. Smith
Edited by Forrest Gander
with a contribution by Derek Gromadzki


Yoshimasu Gozo's groundbreaking poetry has spanned over half a century since the publication of his first book, Departure, in 1964. Much of his work is highly unorthodox: it challenges the print medium and language itself, and consequently Alice Iris Red Horse is as much a book on translation as it is a book in translation. Since the late '60s, Gozo has collaborated with visual artists and free-jazz musicians. In the 1980s he began creating art objects engraved on copper plates and later produced photographs and video works. Alice Iris Red Horse contains translations of Gozo's major poems, representing his entire career. Also included are illuminating interviews, reproductions of Gozo's artworks, and photographs of his performances.Translated by Jeffrey Angles, Richard Arno, Forrest Gander, Derek Gromadzki, Sawako Nakayasu, Sayuri Okamoto, Hiroaki Sato, Eric Selland, Auston Stewart, Kyoko Yoshida, and Jordan A. Y. Smith. Introduction and notes by Derek Gromadzki. Edited by Forrest Gander.


Download "A Note on the Notes" and notes on the poems.



For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut

Poetry by Takashi Hiraide

translated by Sawako Nakayasu

The radiant subway. The wall that clears up, endless. A thundering prayer of steel that fastens together the days, a brush of cloud hanging upon it, O beginning, it is there—your nest. Thus the keynotes of Hiraide’s utterly original book-length poem unfold—a mix of narrative, autobiography, minute scientific observations, poetics, rhetorical experiments, hyper-realistic images, and playful linguistic subversions—all scored with the precision of a mathematical-musical structure.