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Shadow Mountain
Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan

Four Way
2008 • 108 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Japanese-American Culture

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-884800-84-9

Shadow Mountain is the winner of the Four Way Books Intro Series in Poetry, selected by acclaimed poet Kimiko Hahn. The first years of the 21st century have been marked by a global uneasiness over untold stories: forgotten prisoners, unjustified wars, secret decisions. In Shadow Mountain Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan gives voice to older, too-easily forgotten tragedies, urging us to learn a present lesson. She draws on the stories of Japanese-Americans interned at Manzanar Relocation Center, California, and on her own childhood and memories of her grandparents, examining the fault-line between family life and communal experience.

Shadow Mountain is captivating in its imagery, enchanting in its sounds, and a must read for anyone interested in the history of Japanese-American citizens and their children. Ranging in her forms from sonnet to terzanelle to fragmented, obstructed free verse, Kageyama-Ramakrishnan is a heartfelt interlocutor.

“A socially-conscious writer whose issues of war and passion bring us back, then forward again… Shadow Mountain, a plaintive first book, will be read by those who love poetry—and by those who will begin that love, here.” —Kimiko Hahn

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

From the Book:

VI. Photography of My Father, 1942

What’s in the boy’s right hand?
A sandwich? A lunch sack? A small book?

Maybe it’s a piece of obsidian—a desert diamond.
Or is it his first rosary? The tattered sleeve

to his sweater? His favorite stuffed animal?
A bear like the one Kintaro wrestled with

in the forest? Or is it a crumpled letter to his mother?
The arrowhead he dropped and shattered?

Or is it an orgami airplane—a Kamikaze or B-29 bomber,
emblem of war? No, it’s the opposite—

a Japanese crane, symbol of peace,
longevity and fidelity.

CLAIRE KAGEYAMA-RAMAKRISHNAN won the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry for this collection, selected by Kimiko Hahn. Born in Santa Monica and raised in Los Angeles, she received her B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, earned an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow, and completed her M.A. in literature from the University of California at Berkeley. At the University of Houston she was a Cambor Fellow and earned a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing. She is a full-time instructor at Houston Community College, Central Campus. She lives in Houston with her husband, Raj, a scientist specializing in HIV/AIDS research at Baylor College of Medicine, and their three cats.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:01:58 -0500