Writer and educator Biankah Bailey, 38, hails from Kingston, Jamaica, and came to Japan in 2007. Along with artist and educator Marcellus Nealy, she has compiled and edited “Umoja, The Black Diaspora Edition,” a special issue of the Tokyo Poetry Journal’s “Excursions” publication.

1. When did you get into poetry? The first poem I wrote was for a class in high school. I loved how shutting out the world to write made me feel, and I have been doing it since then.

2. Was the “Umoja” anthology your idea? It was the idea of one of Tokyo Poetry Journal’s founding editors, Jeffrey Johnson. He tapped Marcellus Nealy to put it together, and then Marcellus brought me on board.