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April 22, 2002

SFSU's Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives present a rare West Coast performance by Kazuko Shiraishi, one of Japan's most renowned poets, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin St., San Francisco. Shiraishi will perform with jazz trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith with the aid of translators Yumiko Tsumura and Samuel Grolmes. A $7 donation is requested.

Born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1931, Shiraishi was taken to Japan by her family just before World War II broke out. She began her fiercely independent poetic career in 1948 amidst the turmoil and devastation of post-war Tokyo. Her poetry is influenced by abstract art, experimental literature and avant garde jazz and is often compared to the work of Beat poets, especially Allen Ginsberg.

Shiraishi's "Let Those Who Appear," which was recently published by New Directions Publishing, is her first English-language collection to appear in more than 25 years. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Professor Ruth Witt Diamont established the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State in 1954 with encouragement from her friend, poet Dylan Thomas. The center has collected and compiled more than 2,000 original recordings of poets and writers reading from their works.

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Last modified April 22, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs