California native (Dr.) Jordan A.Y. Smith talks about his prolific life in Japan as a professor, translator, poet and sometimes rapper, about poetry as an antidote to loneliness, the key to surviving multiple 5,000-mile moves with his multi-cultural family, creating poetry for BBC Radio 4 with three Japanese poets in Mt. Fuji’s legendary Sea of Trees, and some of his new music and poetry.
Check out more about Jordan wordSmith’s work with the Sea of Trees: Poetic Gateways to Aokigahara project at BBC Radio 4 and Tokyo Poetry Journal. Thanks to Jordan for all his time and awesome music and poetry. And to Light Organ Records for letting me use the music of We Need Surgery in each episode. Listen to Jordan’s full songs and other original music featured in Rootabaga episodes on SoundCloud.
And Jordan shared links to some of the Japanese poets he has worked with or been inspired by. Check it out if this episode has made you curious about Japanese poetry.
Music in the podcast:
I Want Magic – Lyrics/vocals Jordan A.Y. Smith, Music d. dahlinger
Not the Point of No Return – Lyrics/vocals Jordan A.Y. Smith, Music d. dahlinger
Red Threads and Blue (poem) – Jordan A. Y. Smith, from Sea of Trees: Poetic Gateways to Aokigahara (Smith, et al) originally written for BBC Radio 4
Naked Angels Didn’t Descend – Lyrics/vocals Jordan A.Y. Smith, Music d. dahlinger
Mukūhaku: Clearly Not Merely a Blank Space – Lyrics/vocals Jordan A.Y. Smith, Music d. dahlinger (originally published in √IC: Redux (Tokyo: ToPoJo Excursions, 2018)
All songs used with permission