Brandon Shimoda

Brandon Shimoda is a yonsei poet/writer, and the author most recently of The Grave on the Wall (City Lights, 2019), which received the PEN Open Book Award. He has two books forthcoming: Hydra Medusa (poetry and prose, forthcoming from Nightboat Books) and a book on the afterlife of Japanese American incarceration, which received a Creative Nonfiction grant from the Whiting Foundation. He is also the curator of the Hiroshima Library, an itinerant reading room/collection of books on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was on display at the Japanese American National Museum from 2019-2021, and is currently on display at Counterpath, in Denver, CO.

Updated November 2021

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Nikkei al descubierto: una columna de poesía


Nothing like biting into the palpable words of poets to dig into the transformation that signifies this season. I had a great time reading the work of the writers we feature here this month on Nikkei Uncovered—Colorado-based Brandon Shimoda and Minneapolis-based Emily Mitamura. Lush and sinuous, resilient and expansive—from Emily’s Grub Mother—“…a bit of / your heart / is the most delicious sweet / I’ve ever held / to my / swarming mouth…”—and  from Brandon’s The Desert—“…The world / a...

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5 Artists Who Explore Japanese-American Incarceration and Internment

By the time I was old, more importantly conscious, enough to ask my grandfather questions about his life, he was dead. And he had been dying a long time before that. He had Alzheimer’s for 15 years (or 10 or 20 or 12 years, depending on who you ask). He died at 86. I was 18. Among the questions I would have wanted to ask him were about his time as an “enemy alien” of the United States, including his incarceration in a Department of Justice prison in Missoula, Montana. (Internment is used to define the detention of non-citizens, incarceration the detention of citizens, but ...

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