Stuff contributed by traciakemi

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Presence

Nancy UyemuraAmy Honjiyotraci kato-kiriyama

This month, I sought out poems from Los Angeles-based Nancy Uyemura and Amy Honjiyo. I'd been asking Nancy for quite some time now to send me some writing ever since I learned she writes from time to time in the background of her beautiful art making career. Then, I saw …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Body

Greer Nakadegawa-LeeLauren Emiko Itotraci kato-kiriyama

How do memories, observations and spirits transfer through our bodies and onto the page? How does a poem reveal where we hold the gift and burden of memory in our body?

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Theme: (open)

Mya WorrellKahlil Kochiyamatraci kato-kiriyama

This month I wanted to leave the theme open and invite two young voices who are both incredibly active in community building work here in Los Angeles. Kahlil Kochiyama is a UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara) student from the South Bay - his piece places us in his relationship …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Place/Displace

Amy Sanchez ArteagaMisael DiazMarina FukushimaIsak Immanueltraci kato-kiriyama

For this month’s column, I thought it would be a good time to feature the other artists in a residency we are sharing this summer in Little Tokyo (the +LAB Artists-in-Residence program, where five of us are here for three months working on various arts and community engagement projects in …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Holding

Chisao HataKen Yoshikawatraci kato-kiriyama

This month’s column features two friends I made when I participated in a movement response workshop in Chicago last summer, led by Chisao Hata, featuring our physical reaction to poetics expressed by actor & poet Ken Yoshikawa. With the emphasis on an intergenerational lens through which we shared, I looked …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Negotiating Place

Sophia InabaRino Kodamatraci kato-kiriyama

Here we have a first for the Nikkei Uncovered poetry column - a collaborative piece between two wondrous young Nikkei, both University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) students and “Shin-Nisei,” 1.5 generation artists. They write this from the place of anticipating their Pilgrimage together to Manzanar this month, alongside their …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Roots and Branches

Yoshika WasonMicah Tasakatraci kato-kiriyama

Happy spring everyone! This month, we’re excited to feature two poets who both happen to be based in Japan. Micah Tasaka, a queer, genderfluid, mixed race Yonsei artist originally from the Inland Empire now based in Fukui prefecture; and Yoshika Wason, a second generation, mixed race artist who hails from …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Circles, Cycles, Commemoration

Mitsuye Yamadatraci kato-kiriyama

This month, as we commemorate EO 9066, we thought it fitting to honor one of our longest standing and veteran poets, Mitsuye Yamada. At 95 years of age, she has been published for several decades and is still going. Here, she shares with us some previous work as well as …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Japanese American Women Speak

Tani IkedaKyoko Nakamarutraci kato-kiriyama

For this month’s column, opening us into a whole new year, I’m so happy to feature healer and artist kyoko nakamaru and filmmaker Tani Ikeda, who together are co-founders of JAWS — Japanese American Women Speak. They are both based in Los Angeles, California (Kyoko via Wisconsin and Iowa, and …

Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Sansei

Janice Iwanaga YenPatricia Takayamatraci kato-kiriyama

As a younger Sansei/older Yonsei, I've been reflecting a lot on the big sisters and cousins of the Sansei generation who have raised or influenced many of us in our activism, community involvement, and understanding of ourselves as connected to others. This month, we feature pieces of generational and personal …

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About

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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