Yoko Danno was born, raised and educated in Japan. A graduate of the English Literature Department of Kobe College, she started writing poetry in English in the late '60, when David Kidd, the author of Peking Story, then teaching at Kobe University, herself being an auditor, assinged his class a homework to translate a favorite Japanese poem. Finding it difficult for her to transfer the rhythm and nuances of the Japanese poem into English, she wrote instead her own original
in English. Kidd prasied her simple English poem and encouraged her to go on writing,
which was the beginning of her lifelong ‘experiment’ of writing poetry solely
in her adopted tongue, English, though she has never lived outside of Japan.
In 1970 some of her friends raised fund and set up The Ikuta Press to bring out a book of her poems, trilogy. In 1972 Lindley Williams Hubbell, Hisao Kanaseki and Danno, each inviting another contributor, started the annual, or biennial collection of poems, Anthology, which lasted until 1991.
Gary Snyder wrote (in 1993) in his “Introduction” of Danno in an collectioan of her poems, Heading for A Futher Center†:
Yoko has chosen to write poetry in English rather than Japanese. She has been doing this for more than 20 years. It is not that she has lived a long time out of Japan. Although she herself might not say so, I think that her choice of English is part of strategy toward the solution of contemporary dichotomies and unearthing of the deepest roots. If she wrote these poems in Japanese she would run the risk of sounding precious or archaic. The bluntness of English is an excellent foil for her subtleties.
†This book was to be published by Broken Moon Press in Seatle but wasn't brought out
due to the financial tightness of the press.
• Woman in a Blue Robe by Yoko Danno was published by Isobar Press.
• Review of "Woman in a Blue Robe" by Ian Brinton on The Tears in the Wall.
• Aquamarine by Yoko Danno is reviewed by Nettie Farris in BLUE LYRA REVIEW: A Literary Journal of Diverse Voices .
• Some of Yoko's poems were posted in TRUCK:The World Is Not Enough, edited/driven by Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, December 2015.
•"Interview" of Yoko (along with her ten poems) by Tatjana Debeljack was posted in the Serbian magazine "DIOGEN" for culture, art, science and education.
• Yoko contributed her Linked Verse with the poet/monk Saigyo (1118 - 1190) to "Salutations; a Festschrift for Burton Watson" edited by Jesse Glass and Philip F. Williams.
•Yoko'a poem METAMORPHOSIS was posted in METAMORPHOSIS Series by Silver Birch Press.
•Yoko's poem SNOW ADVENTURE was featured in MY PERFECT VACATION Series by Silver Birch Press.
•Yoko's poem GERMINATION was featured in ALL ABOUT MY NAME Poetry Series by Silver Birch Press.
• Authors Live!:Yoko read her poems and a series of Linked Quatrains, A Chimera Grows During the Thaw, composed with Trane DeVore, Jessica Goodfellow, Goro Takano and Ikuyo Yoshimura.
Sunday, June 7, 2015, 5:00 ~ 7:00 pm
Bar IZNT, Sannomiya, Kobe
• The revised edition of "Songs and Stories of the Kojiki" retold by Yoko Danno was published by Red Moon Press (August 2014).
• Yoko's new prose poem "Dream of a Butterfly" is published in a glimpse of #16.
• Yoko's prose poem Wild Nights
was published in a glimpse of #14.
• Yoko's prose poem In Pursuit of a Bird was published in a glimpse of #13, 2013.
• Yoko's poems are included in the Asian Edition of Poetry Magazine.com, spring 2014.
• A new collection of her recent poems, Aquamarine is published, January, 2014 by Glass Lyre Press, LLC.
• Yoko Danno's poem "fire realm" published in the anthology First Water: Best of Pirene's Fountain (Glass Lyre Press, 2013)
• DVD of "Collaborative Poetry in Image and Sound: Poetry Globe. Colours" at St. Perter's Church in Riga, where James C. Hopkins and Yoko Danno read their collaborative work, "sleeping tiger dreams of riga, was produced by apostrofs (Riga, 2013).
•The Latvian version of "a sleeping tiger dreams of manhattana" (Ikutapress, 2008) was published by Mansards Publishing House, Latvia (September, 2012) and the co-authors, Danno and James C. Hopkins, were invited to the book-launching event and also to Poetry Days of Latvia (October 9 - 12, 2012).
• trilogy, The Ikuta Press, Kobe, 1970, 2004
• Dusty Mirror, The Ikuta Press, 1977
• Passage '77, The Ikuta Press, 1979
• Portrait '78, The Ikuta Press, 1980
• Four Songs, The Ikuta Press, 1982
Re-published in Epitaph for memories, The Bunny and The Crocodile Press, Washington, DC, 2002.
book review by Liza Lowitz)
• The Blue Door, collaboration with James C. Hopkins, The Words Works, Washington, DC, 2006
• a sleeping tiger dreams of manhattan: simultaneous poetry, photographs and sound
by Yoko Danno, James C. Hopkins and Bernard Stoltz, The Ikuta Press, 2008
(book review by David Burleigh)
• trilogy and Hagoromo: A Celestial Robe , The Ikuta Press, 2010
• "a sleeping tiger dreams of manhattan" was translated into Latvian and published
by Mansards Publishing House, Latvia, in September 2012.
• Aquamarine, Glass Lyre Press, LLC, January 2014
Reviewed by Nettie Farris in BLUE LYRA REVIEW: A Literary Journal of Diverse Voices .
• Woman in a Blue Robe , Isobar Press, September 2016 Review of "Woman in a Blue Robe" by Ian Brinton on The Tears in the Wall.
• Songs and Stories of the Kojiki, Ahadada Books, Toronto/Tokyo, 2006
(book review by Donald Richie)
(book review by Michael Lambe)
(Excerpts in Poems and Poetics of Jerome Rothenberg)
•Peking Story by David Kidd, Sekaibunka-sha, 1989, Tokyo
• The revised second edition of "Songs and Stories of the Kojiki" retold by Yoko Danno, Red Moon Press, August 2014
Anthologies & magazines:
•International Anthology of Poetry and Prose 47, New Directions, New York, 1983
• poem, home: An Anthology of ARS POETICA, Paper Kite Press, Kingston, Pennsylvania, 2009
• Otoliths 15, Part One, Australia, 2009
• YOMIMONO #14, Tokushima, Japan, 2009
• Poetry Kanto 2010 (No.26), Yokohama, 2010
• Otoliths 21, Part One, 2011
• FourW twenty-two: NEW WRITING, fourW press, NSW, 2011
• Sunrise from Blue Thunder by Pirene's Fountain, December, 2011
• Yomimono #16, May, 2012
• Otoliths 25, Part One November, 2012
• Poetry Kanto 2012 (No. 28)
• Otoliths 29, 2013
• FIRST WATER: Best of Pirene's Fountain, December 2013
• SILK & SPICE, November 2016
Her recent works posted in e-journals:
• Innisfree Poetry Journal, #2 & #4 (2004, 2006)
Moment in Peace, from The Blue Door
• ekleksographia #1, Ahadada Books, 2009
1.on parting 2.a wild wind 3.ubiquitous zero
• The Montserrat Reviews, 2009
Lindley Williams Hubbell: a memoir by Yoko Danno
• Otoliths #15, Spring, 2009
• Praxilla, 2009, 2010
birds before flight/ sound is an inspiration
fire meets water/ A Morning Walk
• poem, home: ars poetica, 2009
behind the words
• Otoliths #21, summer, 2011
• PINSTRIPE FEDRA 9, 2011
• SHAMPOO 39, November, 2011
Long Fasting Since (JIPS Renshi 2)
• Pirene's Fountain, April, 2012
• Otoliths #25, suthern autumn, 2012
fall from a bell tower
• Big Bridge, spring, 2012
an excerpt from AQUAMARINE
• danmurano.com: photography, literature, pop culture and creative comforts
• Beverage Anthology, Pirene's Fountain, October, 2012
• Poetry Kanto No. 28, 2012
• Otoliths 29, 2013
• a glimpse of #13, 2013: In Pursuit of a Bird
and Greek translation
•a glimpse of #14
Work in progress:
• Scrolls: collaboration with James C. Hopkins
(Scrolls is posted as "an experimental work in progress" in Jerome Rothenberg's
Poems and Poetics.)