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Celebrate Poetry

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Celebrating Vashon’s Japanese and agrarian heritage

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Friends of Mukai Celebrate Poetry Month

On April 15, 2015, Friends of Mukai celebrated poetry month


Both poets were influenced by time each spent at Minidoka, Idaho Concentration Camp during World War II. Their families were among approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese held without due process in this and other camps for three years or more. Lawrence Matsuda was born in the camp. Lonney Kaneko was born in Seattle and spent his early childhood years at Minidoka.


Lawrence MatsudaLarry Matsuda has a Ph.D. in education from the University of Washington and an extensive educational career.In 2005, while a visiting professor at Seattle University,he and two SU colleagues co-edited the book, Community and Difference: Teaching, Pluralism and Social Justice, which won the 2006 National Association of Multicultural Education Phillip Chinn Book Award. In July of 2010, his book of poetry entitled, A Cold Wind from Idaho was published by Black Lawrence Press in New York. His poems appear in numerous journals. Eight of his poems were interpreted in a 60 minute dance presentation entitled Minidoka, performed by Whitman College students in Walla Walla, Washington (2011). His new book, Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner, was released in August of 2014. It is a collaboration between Matsuda and artist Roger Shimomura.

To watch this poetry reading click here


Lonney KanekoLonny Kaneko grew up in Seattle, attended Garfield High School and the University of Washington, moving to Vashon Island in 1982. By 1966 he was teaching full-time at Highline College, where he has served as Chair of the Arts and Humanities Division and currently teaches writing classes. He has served on King County and Washington State Arts Commissions and was a member of The National Assembly of States Arts Agencies. He taught English at Grossmont College, SDSU in San Diego, and recently at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Kaneko has received national and local awards for his poetry, fiction, and plays, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for poetry. His book of poems, Coming Home from Camp, portrays life among Japanese Americans during and after World War II. You Make My Silence Sing was privately printed in collaboration with painter Camille Patha. Lady Is Dying, a play written with Amy Sanbo, won the playwriting award from the PNW Writer's conference and the Asian American Playwriting contest and was produced in San Francisco and Seattle. Stories, poems and essays appear in various anthologies.

To watch this poetry reading, click here


The poetry event is one of several public programs Friends of Mukai will present, focusing on the history and experiences of the Japanese American residents of Vashon Island. 4Culture King County Lodging Tax Funds support Friends of Mukai activities.

 

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