PBS NewsHour

Kimiko Hahn shares her Brief But Spectacular take on the power of poetry.


Dara Weir interviews Kimiko Hahn in issue No. 31. (Interview and four poems are not available online)

World Literature Today

“I love to take The Classic Tradition of Haiku…and have the students select one haiku that has several translations. With these and the transliteration, they must come up with their own.”

Kenyon Review

“When using rich source material, the dilemma is always what to trim out. The details or diction might be captivating but that’d doesn’t mean it belongs in the poem.”

American Poetry Review

“I often select words that suggest several meanings in an attempt to burst out of a linear experience.  The word acts as a kind of pivot, which in Japanese is known as kakekotoba…”

Zone 3

“My father, a visual artist, told me that it was easier to paint evil things than good—hence I grew up with large canvases of medusa, skeletons, bird-with-teeth.”

BOMB magazine, 2010

“All my material issues from deep and very personal concerns whether it’s for girls to be able to express anger or the melting of glaciers.”

BOMB magazine, 2006

“Ambiguity is the opposite of clarity—so, in my mind, it shares a necessary relationship to clarity…”

BOMB magazine, 1996

“In order to express oneself genuinely must a woman reinvent language to meet her own needs and subvert hegemony?”

Read essays on Hahn’s work in these books: Poetry for StudentsTranslational Asian American Literature: Sites and TransitsOrient and Orientalisms in American Poetry and PoeticsSo There It Is: an exploration of cultural hybridity in contemporary Asian American poetryMasking Selves, Making Subjects: Japanese American Women, Identity, and the Body, The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity in Asian American PoetryForm and Transformation in Asian American Literature, and In Eleven More American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics Across North America.