Stuff contributed by traciakemi

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyemastu: After — Part 6

traci kato-kiriyamaPam Ward

This month, we have the pleasure of featuring two poems from the great Pam Ward in our continued homage to the late Amy Uyematsu. In the mid 1990’s, Pam and Amy, along with Gloria Alvarez, Jiseh James, and Nancy Padron, organized Cantaluz (“sing light”) to come together and read as …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyemastu: After — Part 5

Kathy Nishimoto MasaokaNina ChanKeiko Ikari MiyaJanice Iwanaga YenLynn Taisetraci kato-kiriyama

As we continue to pay homage to the great Amy Uyematsu, we wanted to feature a special collective poem that was just presented last weekend at the Japanese American National Museum at Amy’s Celebration of Life by five friends of Amy - her best friend Lynn Taise and four writers …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyemastu: After — Part 4

F. Douglas Browntraci kato-kiriyama

As we continue to pay homage to the great Amy Uyematsu — who, yes, I will continue to call the People’s Poet Laureate of J-Town — I am so grateful and honored to present a poem in this series of homage, by another one of my favorite people and writers, …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyemastu: After — Part 3

Teresa Mei ChucMike Sonksentraci kato-kiriyama

This month, we continue to pay tribute to Amy Uyematsu with two wonderful poetry and prose pieces from powerful LA writers. Amy was an inspiration to many and I am so pleased to feature work here by Teresa Mei Chuc and Mike Sonksen. Both of these inspiring writers were colleagues and …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyematsu: After — Part 2

Miya IwatakiNina Chantraci kato-kiriyama

Part 1 >>

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Tribute to Amy Uyematsu: After — Part 1

Keiko Ikari MiyaKathy Nishimoto Masaokatraci kato-kiriyama

When first asked to curate the Nikkei Uncovered poetry column in 2016, the very first person I wanted to feature was the great Amy Uyematsu. Alongside the countless many, I am yet another poet/writer who holds so much sorrow with the loss of Amy after her long and fierce battle …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

“this distant shore…”

Mia Ayumi Malhotratraci kato-kiriyama

This month, we’re delighted to again present the beautiful work of poet Mia Ayumi Malhotra. There is a sweet concoction of remembering, longing, and holding space for moments to recall from the past, “the lost…,” or to save for the future. What a wondrous way to get us leaning into …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Surrender — Part 3

Miko Shudotraci kato-kiriyama

This month we present the final part of the collaborative poem + performative art piece from Bonbu Stories, this time featuring Yonsei musician Miko Shudo. We invite you to view the accompanying video and read this together with the preceding pieces from parts 1 & 2. Miko blends poetics here with …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Surrender — Part 2

Sydney Shiroyamatraci kato-kiriyama

This month we are happy to present both a poem from Bonbu Stories co-founder Sydney Shiroyama and a performance video from the Bonbu Stories collective themselves. Continuing with the theme of Surrender, Sydney’s is part of a linked poem with her Bonbu cohort and it reminds us the seeds we …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Surrender — Part 1

Kendall Tanitraci kato-kiriyama

We are delighted to present poetry from Mammoth Lake, CA based artist, Kendall Tani. Kendall shares an intimate exploration of tenderness and loss, and also generously provides writing here that includes a piece (Surrender) from a larger, collective process with Bonbu Stories - a multidisciplinary Asian American artists collective I've gotten to …

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Author of “Navigating With(out) Instruments,” a book of poetry, micro essays and notes to self—which is being taught in contemporary literature, ethnic, and Asian American studies courses at the university level, and has gained critical acclaim from a wide spectrum of poets, authors, artists, musicians, academics, community leaders & activists.

tkk also narrates for audiobooks from time to time, and recently recorded her 13th title, “The Fervor,” by Alma Katsu, acknowledged by The New York Times’ “6 Audiobooks to Listen to Now.” Her other recordings include “The Memory Police” (Yoko Ogawa); “The Swimmers” (Julie Otsuka); “Intimacies” (Katie Kitamura); and “Temple Alley Summer,” by Sachiko Kashiwaba and Avery FIscher Udagawa, which garnered tkk a Earphone Award and an Audie Award nomination.

traci is the Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project; a core artist of Vigilant Love; a longtime supporter of Okaeri; and a lead organizer with the Nikkei Progressives/NCRR Reparations Committee and the newly formed National Nikkei Reparations Coalition.

tkk is a performer and principal writer for PULLproject Ensemble, co-led by aerial artist Kennedy Kabasares, and together with composer Howard Ho and their creative team, developed “TALES OF CLAMOR,” which premiered at the Aratani Theatre Black Box in 2019, and was recently awarded a National Theatre Project grant from NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts), which support further development of the play and capacity to tour beginning in 2023.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • art (performance and visual; contemporary and traditional); politics; spiritual practices/religious history; Nikkei diaspora.

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