A career-spanning volume that brings together new and selected works by an iconic voice in Canadian literature.
From the Lost and Found Department, by the trailblazing Joy Kogawa, is a profound work of spare, trenchant, and haunting poems that lets us stay with the quietest qualities of beauty and the sublime.
This essential volume brings together thrilling new work with selected poems from The Splintered Moon (1967), A Choice of Dreams (1974), Jericho Road (1977), Woman In the Woods (1985), and A Garden of Anchors: Selected Poems (2003).
Kogawa’s poems here are evidence that our every vulnerability can open into vast channels of grace.
About the authors
Joy Kogawa, one of North America’s most celebrated writers, is the award-winning author of three novels, seven collections of poetry and two books for children. Obasan, which the New York Times called “a tour de force…brilliantly poetic in its sensibility,” continues to be taught across North America, and the opera based on her children’s book Naomi’s Road has toured in Canada and the United States. Kogawa has worked to educate Canadians about the history of Japanese Canadians and is a long-time activist in the areas of peace and reconciliation. In 2010, the Japanese government honoured her with the Order of the Rising Sun. Her latest book is Gently to Nagasaki.
“Through the forests of history, the fog of memory, the floating faith of a dream, Joy Kogawa’s poems seek—and achieve— deep clarity and grace. Whether recollecting wartime dispossession and displacement, travels through Japan, or the loss of loved ones, Kogawa’s lucid lines evince tender, sensuous attention to the ‘cracks in the curtains / of the universe,’ those moments when the ephemeral and the eternal converge. From the Lost and Found Department asks us to hear ‘the sound / of hands / clapping like lightning,’ to hold ‘a deep purple kimono bought / in some vaguely remembered girlhood,’ and to acknowledge that ‘it's our duty’ to ‘greet the dead who smile through trees . . .’”
—Michael Prior, author of Burning Province
“In From the Lost and Found Department we encounter a poet’s vast witness of and homage to the world. In the aftermath of unspeakable violence and cruelty, Joy Kogawa pulls us aside and says, Look here, what matters are the small fish, the mundane kindnesses, the love that remains despite catastrophes. Kogawa is a writer who has powerfully impacted Canadian discourses, and her latest book is a necessary addition to any reader’s collection.”
—Tsering Yangzom Lama, author of We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies
“Each poem in Joy Kogawa’s From the Lost and Found Department permeates into the crevices of the everyday and travels towards silvery seams of wisdom and the denials of history. They pierce with humour and delicacy. No topic is too small or too large for Kogawa’s audacious attention. In this volume is the enduring work of a committed life, where every surface is turned and transformed.”
—Phoebe Wang, author of Waking Occupations
"The author moves seamlessly from the flesh of the holy, luminous world, rendered in sensory detail of granular specificity, to a latticework of more abstract conceptual terms, humming with intimations of spiritual grandeur and transcendence. We are honoured to be witnesses. Don’t think of her as an icon. Honour her as the magisterially accomplished Canadian poet she is. Highly recommend."
—The Vancouver Sun
“The entries—or ‘trinkets in a box’—travel through time and space, between myth and memory. Language becomes the place a ‘knife might cut’ and thoughts are ‘deformed with etiquette.’ Love often juxtaposes that prickly sensation of rejection and uncertainty.”
—Literary Review of Canada