02/13/2017 - 7:00pm
Central Library - The Bubbler
In partnership with The Bubbler and Oscar Presents, the Wisconsin Book Festival welcomes Sho Sugita for his translation of Hirato Renkichi's Spiral Staircase. Renkichi produced a unique brand of Futurism from the late 1910s and early 1920s through poetry, criticism, and guerrilla performance. Contributing to the earliest productions of Japanese avant-garde poetry, his aggressive experimentation with speed, spatialization, and performability would later influence what became a lively community of Dadaist and Surrealist writers in pre-war Japan. Spiral Staircase is the first definitive volume of Renkichi’s poems to appear in English.
Born Kawahata Seiichi on December 9th 1893 in Osaka, Hirato Renkichi attended Sophia University in Tokyo for three years before dropping out and attending Gyosei Gakko to study Italian. He started writing poetry in 1912, first publishing in Banso under the guidance of Kawaji Ryuko. He is most known for distributing the Manifesto of the Japanese Futurist Movement in the busy streets of Hibiya, Tokyo. He passed away due to a pulmonary disease on July 20, 1922 in Tokyo, at the age of 29.
Sho Sugita lives in Matsumoto, Japan. He writes poems and translates Japanese historical avant-garde poetry. His most recent translations can be found in The Margins, Lana Turner, and Hyperallergic. Spiral Staircase — Sugita’s translation of the collected poems of Hirato Renkichi — will be published by Ugly Duckling Presse this spring.