Kazuko Shiraishi was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1931 and was taken to Japan by her family just prior to World War II. She entered the modernism poetry group VOU led by the poet, Katsue Kitazono in 1948, and published her first collection of poetry in 1951. In the early 1960s she started reading her poems in live jazz performances, some of which were filmed. Her publications include many poetry books like ‘Season of Sacred Lust’ (with numerous printings in Japan and the U.S.), ‘Isso no canoe, mirai e modoru’ (Engl: A Canoe Returns to the Future), ‘Sunozoku’ (Engl: Sand Clan), ‘Moero Meiso’ (Engl: Burning Meditation), ‘Hira hira hakobarete ikumono’ (Engl: One Who is Carried off, Fluttering), ‘Arawareru mono tachi wo shite’ (Engl: Let Those Who Appear), ‘Roba no kichou na namida’ (Engl: Precious Tears of the Donkey) as well as voulmes of essays on music, art and film. Her poems have been translated into many languages, they have been published in the U.S.A., in Germany, Korea, Mexiko, and other countries.
She has been invited to readings all over the world, including poetry festivals, e.g. Rotterdam (on several occasions), Jerusalem, Manila, Murcia, London, Hamburg, Durban, Vancouver, Warsaw, Medellín, and jazz festivals in Moers and Wuppertal. She also organized poetry evenings with poets like Allan Ginsberg and Jehuda Amichai, whose works she has also translated. She has performed with musicians, dancers and artists, e.g. Kazuo Ono, Peter Brötzmann, Sam Rivers, Itaru Oki, and Aki Takase. She received many major Japanese poetry literary prizes including the prestigious Yomiuri Literary Prize and also the honour of a Purple Ribbon Medal (Shijuhosho). Kazuko Shiraishi lives in Tokyo.
© international literature festival berlin