Shopping Cart Link

Four Way Books

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link
Paperback add to cart

For Educators
View cart
Cover image Click for larger image

Bear, Diamonds and Crane
Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan

Four Way
2011 • 108 pp. 6 x 9"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-935536-13-0

“The author explores family, love, and loss, particularly among several generations of Japanese Americans, in beautifully distilled little gems that explore the very limits of poetry—and of life: “Maybe you’ll agree that when you filter,/ you translate. You filter and you lose.””—Library Journal

“Out of the deepest / wound, a new bloom.”

Bear, Diamonds and Crane depicts the sansei, the grandchildren of Japanese immigrants to America in villanelles, haiku, and lyric poems collaged from family letters. Kageyama-Ramakrishnan recounts her relatives’ internment in Manzanar, the California concentration camp where Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. Honoring Sadako Sasaki, who, “after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, / […] folded / a thousand cranes/ for world peace,” Bear, Diamonds and Crane looks to the yonsei (fourth generation) to transform “the wound” that “resists erasure and cultural amnesia”: “For you, I will keep the ripe weight,/ […]/ The limes and climbing wisteria vines.”

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“…Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan’s distinct voice is familiar and fresh, heartbreaking and, at times, humorous. Recounting a history both shared and deeply personal, this collection spans generations, mourning the inevitable loss of one and welcoming another, while noting the burden that each must carry.”Blas Falconer

From the Book:

Inglewood: Past Florence and Normandie, 1990

Laundry night and she’s without a gun,
clutching the blue basket and
Chiquita by the wrist. They recall
West 95th, the chain mail
ladies—sisalish hair
and stiletto heels—pinching Chiquitata
to the curb, and steering Charlene
toward the dryer to smack
her pregnant body with their bricks.

In the laudromat tonight, Charlene
kinks Chiquita’s hair like razor
wire, salts their size twelve and three
No-ExCuz jeans in Ivory,
in the chilled water that bubbles,
That blood was Keno’s child

CLAIRE KAGEYAMA-RAMAKRISHNAN, author of Shadow Mountain, lives and teaches in Houston, Texas.

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:48:45 -0500