America and Other Poems


Published June 2007
Kaya Press
$14.95 | 152 pgs.

America and Other Poems is the first English translation of a single volume bythe seminal Japanese Modernist poet, Ayukawa Nobuo.

One of Japan’s most influential yet overlooked poets, Ayukawa was an important voice for peaceand probity in the years that followed World War II and the collapse of Japan’s rationale for war. This landmark selection spans from 1947 through 1976, and includes work ranging from early writings about the poet’s experience on the front line to poems focused on the influence of Western culture on Japanese society.

Ayukawa’s lyrical, complex poetry offers a rare perspective on war from an ordinary Japanese soldier’s point of view. It also provides a window into the complex postwar relationship between Western literary culture and the Japanese struggle to make sense of postwar accountability.

This award-winning translation also features texts by Shogo Oketani, contextualizing Ayukawa’s life and work.

Leza is the Co-translator with Shogo Oketani for this work.

Praise for America and Other Poems

A major voice in Japanese poetry, beautifully brought into English for the first time by Shogo Oketani and Leza Lowitz.

Jane Hirshfield

You might read Ayukawa to see what war did to him. You might read him because he’s a major poet whose work, still gathering force behind him, speaks directly to Americans in this dismal, blood-spattered moment in our own history.

Forrest Gander, Brown University, author of Eye Against Eye

Awards for America and Other Poems

2003 Winner of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature at Columbia University