kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora

✚Other Authors

Shogo Oketani & Leza Lowitz

Shogo Oketani is author of Cold River (in Japanese; poems), co-author of Designing with Kanji: For Surface, Skin and Spirit, and co-translator of America and Other Poems by Ayukawa Nobuo, for which he received the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize, and an NEA grant.  His work has also appeared in Language for A New Century (W.W. Norton), The Poetry of Men’s Lives (University of Georgia Press), Manoa, The Poem Behind the Poem: On Translating Asian Poetry (Copper Canyon Press), and The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature.  He and Lowitz are the co-authors of a YA novel trilogy about a female ninja, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (Volume 1, Tuttle, November 2013). He lives in Tokyo where he works as an editor at a publishing house. 

Leza Lowitz is an award-winning writer, editor, screenwriter and co-translator. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Motherlode, The Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun and the Best Buddhist Writing of 2011. She has published over 17 books, including the amazon best-seller Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By newly released Yoga Heart: Lines on the Six Perfections (Stone Bridge Press). Lowitz and Oketani are the co-authors of a YA novel trilogy about a female ninja, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind (Volume I, Tuttle, November 2013). Her awards include the PEN Josephine Miles Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, grants from the NEA and NEH, and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the translation of Japanese literature from Columbia University for America by Ayukawa Nobuo. She lives in Tokyo where she owns the popular Sun and Moon Yoga studio. 


America & Other Poems

Kaya Press 2007

America and Other Poems by Japanese modernist poet Nobuo Ayukawa marks the first time this seminal work has been translated into a single volume in English. This landmark selection spans three decades from 1947-1976, ranging from Ayukawa’s early work about his war experience on the front lines to later poems in which the influence of Western culture on Japanese society can be clearly felt. His lyrical, complex poetry offers a rare perspective on the modern Asian war experience from an ordinary soldier’s point of view, and a unique window into the complex post-war relationship between Japan and America. This award-winning translation also features an essay by Ayukawa on his seminal poem “America,” as well as essays contextualizing Ayukawa and his work by Shogo Oketani.

More Shogo Oketani & Leza Lowitz Books
Jet Black and the Ninja Wind
Tuttle Publishing 2013

“… His unflinching resistance to the hypocrisy of many of his fellow poets set him outside the mainstream of Japanese culture as it rebuilt itself out of the ashes of defeat.” — Hillel Wright

“You might read Nobuo 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 of our own history.”
— Forrest Gander

“It is this voice, telling it as it is in the wilderness, that must be captured in any reading and in any translation. And this is just what the Oketani/Leza Lowitz translation does.” — Donald Richie, The Japan Times

Shogo Oketani & Leza Lowitz news

Celebrating #LITinCOLOR at the Japanese American National Museum

Kaya is proud to present a reading at the Japanese American National Museum. Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 7:00pm Tateuchi Democracy Forum Japanese American National Museum 100 N Central Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012 #LITinCOLOR will celebrate the invention and imagination of writers of color who seek to represent realities that lie outside of the mainstream imagination, […]