Toshiko Hirata  平田俊子


Hirata Toshiko is a poet and novelist. During the 1980s, she, along with Hiromi Itō, emerged as one of the foremost voices so-called “women’s boom” of poetry. Her poetry is known for its directness and black humor. Tāminaru (Terminal), the 1997 anthology from which most of the poems translated here came, won the Doi Bansui Prize for poetry. She has also won the Hagiwara Sakutarō Prize for poetry for her 2004 collection Shi nanoka (Poetry on the Seventh Day/Is This Poetry?). In recent years, she has increasingly turned to writing novels, which often feature ordinary people in bizarre circumstances that lead them to question the traditional family system and the spots allotted to them in society. Among her many novels are Piano sando (Piano Sandwich, 2001), Futari nori (Two on Board, 2004), which won the Noma Literary Prize for New Writers, and Watashi no akakute yawarakana bubun (My Soft, Red Place, 2007).