Christine Kitano

Christine Kitano is the author of Birds of Paradise (Lynx House Press) and Sky Country (BOA Editions), which won the Central New York Book Award and was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. She is co-editor of the forthcoming They Rise Like a Wave (Blue Oak Press), an anthology of Asian American women and nonbinary poets. She teaches at Ithaca College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Find her online at

Updated December 2021

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Nikkei a Descoberto: uma coluna de poesia

As we continue...

What speaks as we continue on, through the generations or through a single moment we need to survive? What does that breath or utterance or silence sound like? In New York-based Professor Christine Kitano’s work that is shared with us here, we are treated to an urgency related to memory and a voice that expands beyond those moments—“...a story without an ending...” and all that allows us to continue. Her striking pieces here let us reflect on the breathlessness of being and how we somehow keep surging, forward. Enjoy... —traci kato-kiriyama * * * * * Christi…

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Commemoration 150th Anniversary of Japanese in Hawaii: Honoring the Gannenmono King Kalakaua and the Issei Story

The first group of Japanese arrived in Hawaii in 1868. This group is known as gannenmono, or, “first year men,” because they arrived in Honolulu in the first year of the reign of Emperor Meiji. This was a small group of about 149 laborers. Within three years working in the sugar plantations, most returned to Japan. Some went onto the mainland. About fifty remained. These gannenmono were truly the first Issei. One of the original immigrants was Sentaro Ishii. After his arrival in Honolulu, he was assigned to Maui and the McKee Ulupalakua Plantation. Ishii described his work as bei…

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