traci kato-kiriyama

traci kato-kiriyama is a performer, actor, writer, author, educator, and art+community organizer who splits the time and space in her body feeling grounded in gratitude, inspired by audacity, and thoroughly insane—oft times all at once. She’s passionately invested in a number of projects that include Pull Project (PULL: Tales of Obsession); Generations Of War; The (title-ever-evolving) Nikkei Network for Gender and Sexual Positivity; Kizuna; Budokan of LA; and is the Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project and Co-Curator of its flagship “Tuesday Night Cafe.” She’s working on a second book of writing/poetry attuned to survival, slated for publication next year by Writ Large Press.

Updated August 2013

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Retracing / Return

This month, we feature the lovely words of LA-based poets, Noriko Nakada and Garrett Kurai.  I've returned to a practice of penning letters, cards, personal messages to be sent by post or out into the ether for recipients I may never actually meet, and when I read through the words of these writers, I thought a lot of the cycle of remembrance and homage...how when we return, in writing, to our memories, we have a new conversation with the past...how there is much to be said in the process of retracing our narrative paths.  Thank you Noriko ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Dancing in the Clouds

This month, we have the honor of publishing works by two poets who lent their voices to our second annual reading last week for “Nikkei Uncovered”Shō Tanaka and Paulette M. Moreno. They both took great care in what and how they delivered their words together as a pairing that we featured alongside Amy Uyematsu & Miya Iwataki, and Mariko Fujimoto Rooks & Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks. I was struck not only by the beauty of their storytelling, but the vessels they are to their layered and intersectional history, calling on us to further contemplate the complexities, pain, and beauty of people ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Hailing

This month, we are honored to again feature the fierce Miya Iwataki, a veteran activist, core member of NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress), and writer based in Los Angeles. She presents four poems here—an observation of and hailing to the world around her, from the intimate to the masses. Miya will be featured in our 2nd annual Nikkei Uncovered virtual poetry reading on May 13 (RSVP required), where we will feature “pairs” of writers. She will be paired with poet Amy Uyematsu, who leads a weekly writing class where Miya is a participating poet. We look forward to ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

Year-ending

As we survey the past year of lockdowns and quarantines that started here in the States by mid-March, 2020, we take stock of a wide spectrum of revelations and experiences over the last twelve months. From new personal practices and experiments in the arena of safer-at-home, to illness and loss, further exposure of inequities and suffering, uprising and reckoning, community unlearning and building—we share the works of two artists who give us a glimmer of their lives through poetics about this last year, oriented to the pandemic. Veteran author Amy Uyematsu returns to the column with just a few ...

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

In this moment

While we typically link a theme together from the poems we receive from two or more writers, this month we're featuring two voices whose pieces are situated very personally within their own moments, within their own season. Seattle-based Sansei Carolee Okamoto just began writing in 2017 as a way to process her family history and shares with us a poem linked to the annual Day Of Remembrance commemorating the signing of Executive Order 9066. And at the top here, along with their beautiful artwork, we feature some stream-of-consciousness prose by Rino Kodama. I offered Rino a few prompts (“what ...

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