This volume of essays and translations analyzes the prodigious and wide-ranging output of Keijiro Suga. Based in Japan, Keijiro Suga's works are wide-ranging and multilingual. His volumes of poetry have been shortlisted for a range of poetry prizes, and he was awarded the 2011 Yomiuri Shinbun Prize for Travel writing. He has translated dozens of books and has authored or co-authored more than fifteen other books across various genres. He is, by his own introduction, a poet first, but is also a prolific book reviewer, an astute theorist, and an insightful critic. His presence and contributions have been profound in many countries around the globe.
Doug Slaymaker is professor of Japanese at the University of Kentucky.
Chapter 1: Suga-san and Columbus’ Dog
Chapter 2: Just as Though a Number of the Tales of a Friend Remain within Me, While a Number of Others Have Been Forgotten
Chapter 3: Keijirō Suga and the Reading Play Night on the Milky Way Train
Chapter 4: Waves of Connection: Canadian Poetry and the Poetry and Criticism of Keijirō Suga
Chapter 5: The First Three Books by Keijirō Suga
Chapter 6: On the Wisdom of Earth, Water, Fire, Water, and on Border Crossing: Reading Keijirō Suga’s Agend’Ars Poetry collection
Chapter 7: 4x4x4x4: Reflections on Keijirō Suga’s Poetics in Practice
Chapter 8: Traveling, Troubling, and Translating: Reading Suga Keijiro with/against Hiroki Azuma
Chapter 9: A Multilingual Archipelago: Keijirō Suga’s Journey through Hawaii on to the Caribbean
Chapter 10: Tokyo Heterotopia—In Search of Asia Within
Chapter 11: Keijirō Suga’s Coyote Days
Chapter 12: Unknown Archipelagoes: Travelogues and Assemblages in the writings of Keijirō Suga
Chapter 13: “Satisfying Feeling of Nearness”: Fact and Fiction in Keijirō Suga's Travel Essays
Chapter 14: KS, Educator
Keijiro Suga is a force of nature, a burst of energy. One minute he’s a poet, the next a translator, then a travel writer, an experimental playwright, a philosopher—all of it carried out across a crazy blur of languages, not all of them human. In this delightful book, some of Japan’s most creative poets, novelists, and translators join with an international group of scholars to offer harmonic counterpoints to Suga’s multilingual melodies. We also get a generous sampling of Suga’s own essays, appearing in English for the first time.
Poet, translator, essayist, theorist, art critic, environmentalist, peripatetic teacher— all of Keijiro Suga’s varied vocations share the discovery, description, and celebration of the liminal. ‘[A] gateway to other planetary sites of experience,’ as one contributor puts it, here is an encounter with a cosmopolitan cultural icon from Japan whose moment has arrived. In these English renderings of his work, accompanied with essays by some of the literary and critical elite in Japan and elsewhere, what comes across is language on the verge of where it has never gone before: living geographies of islands from New Zealand to Hawai’i to the Caribbean to Japan, where peoples have collided only to creolize over time; an anthropology as concerned with the dog and the coyote as with the human. In person ‘a little shaggy, a little rangy, always on the move’ (like his animals), says volume editor Doug Slaymaker, Suga ‘inhabits the middle space, the no-man’s land, in the spaces between language, people, nations, and goods.’ No one volume, nor any one language, can completely comprehend the array of Suga’s lessons for us. But it is a start.
Wild Lines and Poetic Travels will remain the original and definitive English-language encounter with the inimitable Japanese poet, essayist, performer, translator, and ecocritic Keijiro Suga. In this book, brilliantly curated essays about Suga’s prolific writings and his global artistic endeavors accompany lovingly crafted translations of his work. It is an astonishing accomplishment of translation in the largest sense, a testament to the powers of language without borders, a book that transports Suga’s elemental, beautiful, nomadic writings into the world of English—at long last.