"Tanka: An Ancient Poetic Form in a Modern World"
Tanka are a short form of poetry in thirty-one morae written to mark an occasion with musical concision. Although they are not as well known in America as the more recent haiku, tanka poems have a far longer history and, even today, remain the dominant form of traditional Japanese verse. Mutsuo Takahashi is one of Japan's most prominent living poets, with over two dozen anthologies of poetry and numerous literary prizes to his name. He will appear in a discussion with tanka scholar Amy Heinrich, director of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University, about the role of tanka in contemporary Japanese poetry and society.
Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Family Theater
Writer Yoko Tawada and Jazz Pianist Aki Takase
Yoko Tawada is unusual in that she writes prolifically in both her native Japanese and in German, the language of the land that she now calls home. She has published more than two dozen novels, books of poetry, and essays, several of which are available in English translation. In a spoken-word performance, Tawada is accompanied by Aki Takase, a Japanese-born jazz pianist and composer who has lived in Germany since 1987.
Feb. 16 at 9 p.m. in the KC Café
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