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From the Japanese

by Kris Kosaka

This fourth volume of poetry from Tokyo resident Paul Rossiter conveys his 40-year relationship with Japan in collected poems both thoughtful and thought-provoking. These range from the impressions of a startled first-time tourist in 1969 through to Rossiter’s visits to Ishinomaki in Tohoku in December of 2011 in the aftermath of the March 11 disaster, and reveal a life lived on the outside and inside of Japanese culture.

From the Japanese, by Paul Rossiter.
Isobar Press, Poetry.

Rossiter’s inspirations range from language-acquisition case studies to catalogs from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, from Noh plays to the neon glare of kanji in Shibuya. Through all the poems runs Rossiter’s ruminant wit and gentle awareness of the contradictions in humanity; even the delicacy of sashimi carved as roses emerges in the poems as the fragility of life and the “shifting of tectonic plates.”