Speaker: Hiromi Itō

ITŌ Hiromi (a.k.a. Hiromi Itō) is one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary poets with an extensive range of border-crossing and travel experiences. Since the late 1970s she has published prolifically and received a number of major literary awards including Gendai Shi Techō Prize (1978), Noma Literary Prize (1999), Takami Jun Prize (2006), Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize (2007), Izumi Shikibu Prize (2008), Waseda University Tsubouchi Shōyō Award (2015), and most recently Taneda Santōka Prize (2019). Her works have been translated into English (e.g. Killing Kanoko and Wild Grass on a Riverbank), German (Mutter töten. Gedichte und Prosa) and other languages. Besides poetry, fiction and essays, she has published a number of translations from English and classical Japanese in genres ranging from children’s stories to folktales and plays.


“Fiercely intelligent and unstoppably prolific, Hiromi Ito is a modern literary provocateur” (Kris Kosaka, The Japan Times)

“Itō is a poet of truly international stature, whose work breaks down barriers of language & gender, bringing an unprecedented erotic energy & eruptions of transgressive & domestic excess into areas of deep myth & shamanistic performance.” (Jerome Rothenberg on the back cover of Killing Kanoko)

“Her poems reverberate with sexual candor, the exigencies and delights of the paradoxically restless/rooted female body, and the visceral imagery of childbirth. They leap off the page as performative modal structures—fierce, witty, and vibrant.” (Anne Waldman on the back cover of Killing Kanoko)

Experience the power and vitality of bilingual readings of selected poems by the poet herself. The texts will include not only poetry but excerpts from The Thorn-Puller: New Tales of the Sugamo Jizō (winner of Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize and Izumi Shikibu Prize), The Way of Seppuku, and Itō’s transcreation of the Heart Sutra.

In recent years Itō often combines her poetry reading with a Q&A session about life. She answers questions put forward by the audience about various issues, including the body and relationships, in her frank, sincere and comic style. For this event, participants are encouraged to submit questions on the registration form (3 sentences maximum) in English or Japanese about any aspect of life by Friday 22 November. Questions that concern any sort of “border-crossing” would be particularly welcome.

Event Details: 

Date: Thursday 28 November 2019

Registration: 5.45 pm

Event Time: 6 - 7.30 pm 

Venue: Forgan Smith Building (#1), room E302, UQ St Lucia campus. 

Cocktail party: 7.30 - 8.30 pm, Forgan Smith Building (#1) Level 3 Foyer, UQ St Lucia Campus.

RSVP: Tuesday 26 November 2019

Enquiries: events@languages-cultures.uq.edu.au

To commemorate Ito Hiromi’s poetry reading event at UQ, Books Kinokuniya Australia offers a special 20% discount for online purchase of five of Ito’s books until 8 December. Please click here to view books.


About Crossing Boundaries: Language, Culture and Migration Symposium

'The Crossing Boundaries: Languages, Culture and Migration' Symposium will be held at UQ St Lucia Campus on 28-29 November 2019. The symposium will explore multilingual and multicultural texts, films, art, the classroom, and daily lives, and to understand these spaces in terms of "transcultural" or "translanguaging" practices. By bringing together scholars of diverse fields of study and diverse language and cultural disciplines, we hope to elucidate the powers and pitfalls of translanguaging. 



Forgan Smith Building #1
UQ St Lucia Campus