Michelle Har Kim

Michelle Har Kim received her doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California.  Her dissertation, "Antipodes of Asian American Literature: Heterolingualism and the Asian Americas" (2012), explores a series of Asian American texts that are written in Spanish and/or that cite Asian diasporic lives in the Americas.

Updated September 2012

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The Asian American Literary Review

José Watanabe - Part 4

Editor’s note: These poems by Japanese Peruvian poet José Watanabe are presented in the original Spanish with English translations by Michelle Har Kim for the Asian American Literary Review.

Read the introduction >>

El otro Asterión

El adulterio de la madre con el toro era evidente
por lo insólito del monstruo híbrido. Minos decide
alejar de su palacio esta infamia y encerrarlo
en una mansión intrincada.

                                         Ovidio (Metamorfosis )

De tantos juegos el que prefiero
es del otro Asterión.  Finjo que viene a visitarme
y que yo le muestro la casa.

                                   Jorge Luis Borges (La casa ...

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culture en

The Asian American Literary Review

José Watanabe - Part 3

Editor’s note: These poems by Japanese Peruvian poet José Watanabe are presented in the original Spanish with English translations by Michelle Har Kim for the Asian American Literary Review.

Read the introduction >>

Escena de caza

            No por cólera
negaré la belleza de los brillantes jaeces.
Cuando el cuerno de caza ya no suene en el fondo del bosque
alabaré mejor el paciente trabajo de los artesanos del burgo.
Ahora tengo prisa:
el tropel de caballeros y cortesanas galopa en el coto de caza,
hieren con saña la grupa y el ijar de los elásticos corceles
y ...

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culture en

The Asian American Literary Review

José Watanabe - Part 2

Editor’s note: These poems by Japanese Peruvian poet José Watanabe are presented in the original Spanish with English translations by Michelle Har Kim for the Asian American Literary Review.

Read the introduction >>

La estación del arenal

La prodigiosa lagartija corre
            y ya no la veo más.
Oculta entre el color del médano, imperturbable,
me observa
mientras el halcón huye de la resolana
y la arena cae suavemente desde las trombas de aire
sobre nadie.
Ningún ruido la inquieta. Huiría
si resonara en el aire lo que confusamente está dentro de mí:
Discrimino una ...

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The Asian American Literary Review

José Watanabe - Part 1

“The children of Japanese immigrants, we heard...that someday the whole family would return to Japan. The dream wasn’t too convincing, not even for our parents”1. The fifth of eleven children, the Japanese Peruvian poet José Watanabe (1946-2007) spent his early childhood in the sugar plantation town of Laredo, about three hundred miles north of Lima, in the region of La Libertad. There his issei migrant father met and married his Peruvian mother—“a mestiza Peruvian,” Watanabe elaborates in a recent interview.2 One fateful day his father found himself with a winning lottery ticket which allowed ...

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