Items in the News
“Stan Kusunoki has crafted a masterful collection of poems. He arranged them in newspaper sections: 'Local News,' 'National and International News,' 'Editorials,' 'Obituaries,' and 'Personals,' thus making it clear how current and topical the poems are. In his clear and lucid style, he tells the history of his family since coming to America in 1911, and of of his own self-image evolving from his teenage White Boy persona to an adult fully aware and proud of his heritage.
“In a powerful section, his poems tell of his family's World War II internment at the euphemistically named War Relocation Center in Topaz, Utah—one of several concentration camps for West Coast Japanese-Americans. In the 'Editorials' section, Stan makes it clear that we must not allow this to happen again to any group—Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ, disabled—all of whom are threatened by the election of Trump and what unfortunately is becoming the new normal in America. 'Never More and Never Again,' we must say. The title poem 'Items in the News' makes it clear how the media has both inured us to and led to our fascination with the rising racial, police, and anti-police violence.
“Many of the poems are angry, but the book is tempered by Stan's nostalgia for his elders and by his obvious love and concern for his students and for those who are seen as 'others.' The book is a call to action and has inspired me to do more to work for peace, justice. and equity in these difficult times.”
– David Unowsky (late of Subtext bookstore and former proprietor of the Hungry Mind bookstore)
“Stan Kusunoki has a remarkable ability to transport us and see ourselves in his poems. In Items in the News, he explores his family’s distinct American story in its pain and joy. He also examines the lives of Prince, Leonard Cohen, Maya Angelou, and the students he teaches. He brings his gifts of observation and reflection to all that he chooses to write about, and in doing so, he expands our sense of what is possible. These poems are news that stays news, exactly what we need now.”
– John Coy, author of Gap Life, Their Great Gift, and other acclaimed books for children and teensAbout the Author:
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 110
Publication Date: September 2017