“Pier is a beautiful book. . . . The poems create a thread, tightly woven, but also expansive, held in their rooms of breath and breadth.”
Available in print.
Janine Oshiro holds degrees from Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), Portland State University, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of a poetry fellowship from Oregon’s Literary Arts. She lives in Hawaii and teaches at Windward Community College.
“As if through an echolocation of brilliant and insistent off-rhyme, these poems effect a delicate placement of self into body, body into world, world into word. And at the center of it all is even more delicate loss. Oshiro’s Pier takes its measure in precise instances that ache with intelligence. A truly masterful first book.”
“[Pier] is rich with slender sounds, subtle fragrances…. Oshiro has a unique poetic IQ.”
“The delicate matter of living inside one’s skin pervades Pier, and Oshiro provides a near-handbook on how to slip through the defined boundaries of objects and animals and inhabit them. This animalistic impulse is combined with her penchant for ancestor worship… which in totality provides for a delicious atavism.”
—The Great American Pinup
“Who can whisper in the spare dark and still be heard in the greater stillness? Only a poet who bets everything on spirit and the ability of language to outline that spirit. In prose honed to home and verse like stones skipping on the surface of water, who can tell where this wonderfully quiet and haunting book will lead? Not where you would ever think: “Everywhere is a potential/exit, except the door.” In a virtuosic range of approaches to line, image and poem, Janine Oshiro makes a unique new music.”
“The poems in Pier refuse to privilege poetic craft over intensity of feeling, landscape over interiority, the mundane over the fabular, stoicism over grief. Instead, they have it all–or rather, they emerge from the spaces between contending states: ‘It came out in a child’s hand and I was/ not a child.’ Oshiro’s is a new voice of antique resonances, born of an anxious apprenticeship to beauty and to pain.”
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