Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From

Some Girls Walk into the Country They Are From

by Sawako Nakayasu


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In Sawako Nakayasu’s first poetry collection in seven years, an unsettling diaspora of “girls” is deployed as poetic form, as reclamation of diminutive pseudo-slur, and as characters that take up residence between the thick border zones of language, culture, and shifting identity. Written in response to Nakayasu’s 2017 return to the US, this maximalist collection invites us to reexamine our own complicity in reinforcing literary convention. The book radicalizes notions of “translation” as both process and product, running a kind of linguistic interference that is intimate, feminist, and playfully jagged.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781950268115
Publisher: Wave Books
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 724,889
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She has lived mostly in the US and Japan, briefly in France and China, and translates from Japanese. Her books include Some Girls Walk Into The Country They Are From (forthcoming, Wave Books), Pink Waves (forthcoming, Omnidawn), The Ants (Les Figues Press), and the translation of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books), as well as Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals (reprint forthcoming, Wave Books), a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. She is co-editor, with Eric Selland, of an anthology of 20th Century Japanese Poetry (forthcoming, New Directions). She teaches at Brown University.

Read an Excerpt


When asked who wants to ride, sometimes all the girls start jumping up and down, other times they duck, cover, and conceal. In the be- ginning it was all the moms: Girl D, Girl E, Girl G, Girl H, Girl I, and Girl J. Many of the girls were moms a er all, and even the girls who are not yet moms have been carrying their potential children in their ovaries from the time they were 20-week-old fetuses inside their own mothers, which is why when Girl B hugs her maternal grandmother, it’s just the other side of her own so skin. When Girl J marries a gay man, he repeatedly says, I’m gay, you know I’m gay, right? Girl J says of course, don’t forget all the times I’ve been cruising with you. And there goes the warm thing. Will you be my spoon, forever and ever.

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