Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner
“Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner” is a collaboration between Lawrence Matsuda (poet) and Roger Shimomura (internationally known artist) inspired by the Japanese American experience including the World War II forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans. Shimomura was a youngster in the camps and Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho concentration camp. The forced incarceration experience had a significant effect on their art which fuels their commitment to never let it happen again when frenzy and fear rule. The book contains 38 poems by Matsuda and 18 original illustrations by Shimomura including three images and cover art from Shimomura’s past work. The poems are arranged in chronological order except for “Barry the Psychiatrist” that begins the collection. Thereafter, the topics move from the 1942 forced incarceration to the period after the war, then to friends/family, and end with the Fukushima disaster.
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“While reading Larry Matsuda’s intense new volume of poetry, it occurred to me that if Raymond Carver had been Japanese and born in an internment camp during World War II, he might have sounded a little like this. Not surprising, since Tess Gallagher, Carver’s widow, has been one of Matsuda’s mentors and muses. His singular poetic voice is sensual and searing, fierce and funny. It’s grounded in the history and landscape of the Northwest and strongly resonates with those of us with roots here. He confronts us with how the consequences of a monumental injustice, in this case the Japanese internment, resonates through the years. His accomplice is celebrated artist Roger Shimomura, who bends a traditional Japanese graphic esthetic into visual statements that are powerful, witty, tragic, and sarcastic. Shimomura’s art plays in beautiful counterpoint to Matsuda’s verse. Highly recommended.” – Amazon.com