Basic Vocabulary

Basic Vocabulary

by Amy Uyematsu

Paperback(1st Edition)

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Amy Uyematsu's latest poetry collection, Basic Vocabulary , confronts today's complex world of drone warfare and post 9/11 unease with boldness, curiosity, candor, and insight. She unites the political and spiritual and welcomes what she calls: Elegant disorder / even my mind / leaping branch to branch.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597097284
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Amy Uyematsu is a third-generation Japanese-American poet and teacher from Los Angeles. She has published several previous poetry collections including 30 Miles from J-Town (Story Line Press, 1992), Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain (Story Line Press, 1997), and Stone Bow Prayer (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). Her first book was awarded the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Amy was a co-editor of the widely-used UCLA Asian American Studies anthology Roots: An Asian American Reader.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Amy Uyematsu is an essential LA poet whose poems fly into advanced blue space. In palm tree twilight dusk, Amy’s poems reach me in spite of everything. Her figures of maths, her tropes of Zen compassion, the healing poetics of cancer survival and lived experience cut through the intersections of America’s apartheid imagination, the gentrification of every minute and every hour, the doom of lives lost for want of poetry.”

—Sesshu Foster, author of World Ball Notebook and Atomik Aztex

“Uyematsu begins with a list of the thirty-five most stable words found in human languages—each word begets a verse which stands in relationship to that other abiding reality—war. In this wise and gorgeous collection, she engages with language itself, entering deeply into seeing and hearing the ways that war shapes consciousness. Her work shows us once again that poetry is an enduring instrument for exploration of the depths. Basic Vocabulary both dazzles and devastates.”

—Marsha de la O, author of Antidote for Night and Black Hope

“If you wonder what good poetry can do or if the revolutionary spirit of American poetry is alive and well, read this book. Amy Uyematsu is the answer. Uyematsu catalogues mortality and the human condition with bravery and grace. Whether she questions wars, explores our ‘human echo,’ or stares down breast cancer and its aftermath, this is a fierce and crucial poet at the height of her poetic powers.”

—Lee Herrick, author of Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire

“There’s a beat behind these poems, a rhythm that just won’t stop as one poetic invention after another screams or whispers itself across the page, revealing, once again, Amy Uyematsu’s love and fierce determination to never turn away, not from the gratuitous human stupidity of violence, racism, war, and injustice, and not from the insistent miracle life remains in all its beauty and wonder. We need poems like these to shake us up, and to nourish us at the root of what we are. Basic Vocabulary does all of that; it is spoken in a language we have known since before we were born.”

—Peter Levitt, author of Within Within and Winter Still

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