Sawako Nakayasu

Rhode Island, United States

Member Since: 03/02/2012

Sawako Nakayasu is a poet, translator, and performance artist. She holds a B.A. in Literature/Writing and a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.F.A. in Literary Arts (Poetry) from Brown University, and has taught creative writing and literature at UC San Diego, Bard College, Brown University, as well as in Shanghai, China, and Tokyo, Japan. She has received numerous grants and fellowships for her work, including the NEA and PEN. Her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Her books include The Ants (Les Figues Press, 2014), Texture Notes (Letter Machine Editions, 2010), Hurry Home Honey (Burning Deck, 2009), Nothing fictional but the accuracy or arrangement (she, (Quale Press, 2005), and So we have been given time  Or, (Verse Press, 2004). She has also written, translated, and self-published a book called Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals, which is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. Books of translations include The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa by Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books, 2015), Costume en Face by Tatsumi Hijikata (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2015), Time of Sky//Castles in the Air  by Ayane Kawata (Litmus Press, 2010) and For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut by Takashi Hiraide (New Directions, 2008) which won the 2009 Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent, as well as Four From Japan (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books, 2006) featuring four female contemporary Japanese poets.

More information can be found here:





  • The Ants , Les Figues Press (2014)
  • Texture Notes , Letter Machine Editions (2010)


  • Assistant Professor at Brown University (July 2017 - )


  • Bachelor of Arts in Literature -- Writing from UC San Diego (June 1997)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from UC San Diego (June 1997)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Literary Arts from Brown University (May 2002)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Children's literature , Poetry