Nagata Kazuhiro, in addition to being one of the world’s foremost molecular and cellular biologists, is also a celebrated tanka poet, who judges an annual tanka contest in Japan. Tanka is an ancient lyric form with a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable pattern that has been practiced in Japan for more than 1,300 years and in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century. Dr. Nagata reads from For Instance, Sweetheart, a forty-year love story told through exchanging tanka with his late wife, the poet Kawano Yūko. The program, which includes commentary about the tanka form, will be in English with a few tanka offered both in translation and the original Japanese. 

Cosponsored with Northwestern University and presented in cooperation with the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago

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Our events are first come, first served and capacity is limited. We only allow late admittance during a pre-determined program break.


Friday, April 21st, 7:00 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission
A reception follows the program