BOOK LAUNCH: THE YEAR’S WORK AT ISOBAR
Isobar Press celebrated the publication of four new books of poetry on 18th November 2016 in Aoyama. Here are some photos of Paul Rossiter, Holly Thompson and C. E. J. Simons reading from part 3 of Snow Bones by Masaya Saito and Masaya Saito reading from part 4; Yoko Danno reading from Woman in a Blue Robe; and Philip Rowland reading from Something Other Than Other.
Thank you to everyone who came!
GROUP POETRY READING IN TOKYO
Isobar poet Eric Selland read at Meiji University in Tokyo on 4 July 2016 with Keijiro Suga, Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, and special guest from the USA, Steven. J. Seidenberg.
San Francisco-based Steven J. Seidenberg is the author of Itch (2014), Null Set (2014), Songs of Surrender (2013) and most recently, Duration Knows No Law (2014). His recent visual work, Tokyo Tape, will be shown at Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo and at Hanare x social kitchen in Kyoto this July and August. http://www.sjseidenberg.com
Keijiro Suga was the recipient of the Yomiuri Award for Literature in 2011 and is the author of fourteen books of poetry, among which are Strangeography and On Tenses (both 2013). He is professor in the program of digital content studies at Meiji University.
Jane Joritz-Nakagawa is editor of women : poetry : migration [an anthology], forthcoming in 2016 from Theenk Books, who also published her eighth poetry collection distant landscapes in 2015. Her ninth collection <<terrain grammar>> is forthcoming in 2017.
PHOTOS OF THE ISOBAR TALKS AT KINOKUNIYA
Here are some photos of the talks by Isobar authors at the Kinokuniya Shinjuku South bookstore on 18 March. Top row left to right: Nobuaki Tochigo, Andrew Fitzsimons and Eric Selland. (Photos by Brendan Wilson.)
ISOBAR TALKS AT KINOKUNIYA:
Talks on translation by Isobar authors (a bilingual event)
The American poet Robert Frost famously defined poetry as that aspect of any literary work which gets lost during translation into another language. In these talks (in English and Japanese) by Isobar Press authors, the focus will rather be on what new and valuable things might be found or created through the process of resituating a literary work in a different language.
Part 1: A Fire in the Head and Haiku (Bilingual)
Andrew Fitzsimons introduced the English-language haiku sequence A Fire in the Head and discussed the elements of ‘translation’ involved in writing an ‘original’ work in haiku-form in English in Japan. Nobuaki Tochigi talked about the problems presented by translating an English-language work written in Japan in a Japanese form ‘back’ into Japanese. The talk ended with a reading of part of the sequence in both languages.
Part 2: Function and Meaning in the Translation of Poetry (In Japanese with English examples)
Eric Selland discussed a poem by Wago Ryoichi to demonstrate how even a simple poem written in colloquial speech cannot be translated literally. The translator has to think about how Wago’s poem functions as a poem and then find a form or a voice for him in English where the poem will take up residence in a very different environment than in the original.
Part 3: Versions: What the Sky Arranges and Translation (Bilingual)
What the Sky Arranges is a work derived from the Tzuresuregusa of Kenkō Yoshida, but rather than ‘translation’ the term which might best describe it is ‘version’. Andrew Fitzsimons and Nobuaki Tochigi discussed the ‘family resemblances’ and differences between translation and ‘version-ing’. The talk ended with a reading of some of Andrew Fitzsimons’s versions along with appropriate passages from a modern Japanese translation of Kenkō’s original.
KOBE and TOKYO LAUNCHES of NEW ISOBAR BOOKS, 2015
In the autumn there were two launches in Japan of Isobar’s six new books: in Kobe at the Japan Writers Conference (25th October), and in Tokyo at the Wesley Center in Aoyama (29th November). In Kobe C. E. J. Simons read from his first full collection, One More Civil Gesture; Eric Selland read from his second Isobar book, Beethoven’s Dream; Jessica Goodfellow read from Lesley Hardy’s first publication, Dreaming of Zeus; and Paul Rossiter read from Peter Robinson‘s book of prose poems and memoirs, The Draft Will, from Peter Makin‘s book of elegiac sequences, Neck of the Woods, and from his own new collection, World Without. In Tokyo, Peter Makin, C. E. J Simons and Eric Selland read from their own books, and Paul Rossiter read from Peter Robinson’s The Draft Will, Lesley Hardy’s Dreaming of Zeus, and his own World Without. Many thanks to all the readers and to all who attended the events!
LONDON POETRY BOOK FAIR, 26th September 2015
Two views, one of the interior of Conway Hall in Red Lion Square in Holborn during the fair, and the other of the Isobar table.
LONDON LAUNCH OF NEW ISOBAR BOOKS, 3rd July 2015
Isobar launched the first four books for 2015 in London on 3rd July at the Rugby Tavern in Great James Street, Holborn. Peter Robinson read from his book of prose poems and memoirs, The Draft Will; C. E. J. Simons read from his first full collection, One More Civil Gesture; Paul Rossiter read from Eric Selland’s second Isobar book, Beethoven’s Dream and from Lesley Hardy’s first publication, Dreaming of Zeus.
READING IN JIMBOCHO, 24th June 2015
Nada Gordon, Eric Selland and Paul Rossiter gave a reading on 24th June at the Books on Japan Library in Jimbocho. Paul Rossiter read from two new Isobar books, Lesley Hardy’s Dreaming of Zeus and C. E. J. Simons’s One More Civil Gesture; Eric Selland read from Beethoven’s Dream; and Nada Gordon READ!
JAPAN WRITERS CONFERENCE IN MORIOKA
Paul Rossiter and Jessica Goodfellow gave a reading of work by all the Isobar poets at the Japan Writers Conference at Iwate University in Morioka on 24-25 October; they both also participated in a reading organised by James Crocker, editor of The Font: A Literary Journal for Language Teachers. Paul and Jessica are on the left in the photo below, Sue Sullivan and Kelly Quinn on the right.
FREE VERSE: THE LONDON POETRY BOOK FAIR
Isobar had a small stand at the London Poetry Book Fair on Saturday, 6 September 2014, where Paul Rossiter also gave a talk on ‘English Writing from Japan’, in which he sketched the history of English-language poetry and small-press publishing in Japan and introduced and read from the eight books so far published by Isobar.
Pictures from the launch of the second four Isobar Press books:
The launch of the second four Isobar Press books took place on Friday 6th of June at International House of Japan in Roppongi. Here are some photos of the event: Royall Tyler reading from A Great Valley Under the Stars; Andrew Fitzsimons and Nobuaki Tochigi reading from A Fire in the Head; Jessica Goodfellow reading from The Insomniac’s Weather Report; and Paul Rossiter reading from Whispers, Sympathies, and Apparitions: Selected Poems of David Silverstein (forthcoming).
Pictures from the launch of the first four Isobar Press books:
A poetry reading and launch party for Isobar Press was held on the Komaba campus of the University of Tokyo on 23rd January as part of a party celebrating Paul Rossiter’s retirement after seventeen years at Komaba. Here are a few photos of the event: Paul Rossiter reading from From the Japanese; Francis Doyle reading from The Rhododendron Forest by his father, Denis Doyle; Eric Selland reading from Arc Tangent; and Andrew Fitzsimons reading from What the Sky Arranges. Thank you to everybody who came!