Tree Spirits Grass Spirits (Paperback)

Tree Spirits Grass Spirits By Hiromi Ito, Jon L. Pitt (Translator) Cover Image

Tree Spirits Grass Spirits (Paperback)

By Hiromi Ito, Jon L. Pitt (Translator)


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A collected series of intertwined poetic essays written by acclaimed Japanese poet Hiromi Ito--part nature writing, part travelogue, part existential philosophy.

Written between April 2012 and November 2013, Tree Spirits Grass Spirits adopts a non-linear narrative flow that mimics the growth of plants, and can be read as a companion piece to Ito's beloved poem "Wild Grass on the Riverbank". Rather than the vertiginously violent poetics of the latter, Tree Spirits Grass Spirits serves as what we might call a phyto-autobiography: a recounting of one's life through the logic of flora. Ito's graciously potent and philosophical prose examines immigration, language, gender, care work, and death, all through her close (indeed, at times obsessive) attention to plant life.

Hiromi Ito is an award-winning Japanese poet. She is well-known for her unconventional style and engagement with issues of gender and immigration, as well as for her deep attention to plant life. Much of Ito's writing since the 1990s has explored her time living in Southern California in the United States. Her 1998 novella House Plant was nominated for the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for Literature. Ito translated House Plant into English with the help of her late husband Harold Cohen, and it was published in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal in 2007. Two books of her poetry have also been translated into English: Wild Grass on the Riverbank and Killing Kanoko: Selected Poems of Hiromi Itō (both translated by Jeffrey Angles and published by Action Books). Jon L Pitt is an educator, translator, and musician. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and teaches Japanese environmental humanities at the University of California, Irvine. His current book project is titled Becoming Botanical: Rethinking the Human through Plant Life in Modern Japan.
Product Details ISBN: 9781643621920
ISBN-10: 1643621920
Publisher: Nightboat Books
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 192
Language: English