1. Home
  2. Programs & Initiatives
  3. Foundation Events
  4. Poetry off the Shelf: Tanka Poet Nagata Kazuhiro

Poetry off the Shelf: Tanka Poet Nagata Kazuhiro

Friday, April 21st, 7:00 PM

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission
A reception follows the program

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

Sign up to receive our event newsletter in your inbox

See all events

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


Other Information

  • Browse Poems

  • Detail, photograph by Jun Fujita, circa 1930s, courtesy of the Graham and Pamela Lee private collection.
    Current Exhibition
    Jan 12, 2017 – May 26, 2017

    This exhibition presents photographs and ephemera from the poet Jun Fujita (1888-1963). Fujita is an English-language tanka poet who published regularly in Poetry during the 1920s. The first Japanese-American photojournalist, he is responsible for the most famous photos of the Eastland disaster, the Chicago race riots of 1919, and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, among others. This show will explore his lesser-known landscapes.