Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sawako, J.Mae, Rob, & Chris Enter A Room & Awe Begans

I had an idea, probably three years or so ago when I curated the Teachers & Writers reading series to have Sawako as a reader. She was never able to make it from the West Coast to NYC. Emails, postal mail, & friendship continued. Last year she was going to be at AWP, but again the traveling, the distance, proved not so. So when I found out she would be in New York briefly (2-3 days) I immediately set about to schedule a reading. I also wanted J.Mae Barizo & Chris Martin to read with Sawako. Mae & her husband generously offered the use of their beautiful apartment which made the reading much more intimate and cozy-- it also helped with the little ones (Marina & Ada) as bars tend to not be the most baby-friendly.

Chris Martin read first, delighting us with new poems which he referred to as "hymns." He finished off his reading with an acapella rap. Yep, dope.

J.Mae Barizo read her poems to the accompaniment of musician Rob Moose's( Anthony & the Johnsons) guitar. The music & poems fit perfectly & everyone seemed transfixed including Anne Carson- who was kind enough to stop by & support poetry & music & her fellow Canadian (J.Mae).

Sawako Nakayasu
closed out the evening. It was my intention to get her set-list for Coldfront but in my awe & consumption of wine, this did not happen. She read two titles then would ask the audience which they wanted to hear. The first group of poems were "ant" poems. She said they were old poems, but for most us they were "new" poems. She followed this up by reading a few translations from Time of Sky // Castles in the Air by Ayane Kawata (which Sawako translated).
Sawako closed her set out by reading from the immensely popular book, Texture Notes, if you haven't read this book, definitely do!

Then after the readings people mingled, ate bread & cheese, & drank wine. It was a great night & we were all lucky to hear Sawako, J.Mae, Rob, & Chris.

Special thanks to J.Mae, Wolfram, & Lila without whom the reading would not have happened.

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