大崎清夏 ｜Ōsaki Sayaka
Sayaka Ōsaki is one of the rising stars of Japanese poetry, who describes herself as a noisy animal, one ‘that walks about speaking endlessly.’ Introducing Ōsaki on Poetry International, fellow poet Yasuhiro Yotsumoto writes: ‘The world of Ōsaki’s poems is underlaid with silence, an eerie quietness that is at once soothing and disturbing. Through this silence, we nonetheless hear an echo of the Great East Asian earthquake and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear disaster which took place in Japan in 2011, at the time Ōsaki was making her debut … In the poet’s mind, the natural disaster seems to be associated with the very concept of language … The silence in Ōsaki’s poems, however, is also soothing. It reminds us of the deeper silence that existed before this world came into being and that will remain after we are all gone … Sayaka Ōsaki writes in a simple, everyday language but penetrates the surface of this time and space and reaches the depths of mythology that underlie our ordinary lives. Her poems are personal yet socially relevant at the same time. Among the current generation of young Japanese poets, who tend to be content to remain inside each one’s individual micro-cosmos, she is a unique epic poet, speaking of this world, she writes on her web site, with the senses and body of a “noisy animal”.’ (Source: Poetry International)
‘Language is the first disaster that humanity experiences.Ōsaki Sayaka
Language is the violence that we, as people, continue to experience every day.
We experience this disaster, this violence, and, yet babies still begin to speak, unable to keep quiet. They repeat somebody else’s words just as they are, reproducing the form of someone else’s experience with disaster. As a result, I do not know where “this disaster” begins, nor where it ends.’
Sayaka Ōsaki has produced diverse collaborations with dancers, musicians, contemporary artists, and other poets and often represents Japan at international literary festivals. In 2016 her first book for children Hey leaf, where is your home? was published. Her second collection, Pointing Impossible (Seidosha, 2014), won the Nakahara Chūya Prize in 2014, and was followed by New Habitat (2018) and Freedom of Dance (2021). Ōsaki has been invited to international festivals in Lithuania (2015), Ecuador (2017), Cuba (2018), China (2018) and the Netherlands (2019). Some of her poems have been translated into English, Spanish and Lithuanian.
2023, Noisy Animal (Vagabond Press) will be the first collection of her poems published in English. Would you like to learn more?