Cover Story continued

For a writer, one of the hardest questions to answer is, “Who is your favorite poet?” And a close second, “What is your favorite poem.” This writer won’t answer either of those questions, but if someone asked me whose performance of their poetry sends me into a Frostian shiver, I would say, without pause, Janine Oshiro.

In Pier, her first book of poetry and a breathtakingly beautiful debut, Oshiro captures how it must feel to live inside someone else’s pocket. Her poetry is rich with slender sounds, subtle fragrances, tones and overtones of soft poetic sneezes. My point is, Oshiro has a unique poetic IQ, found in poems like “Snow Logic.”

Winner of the 2010 Kundiman Poetry Prize, Oshiro’s poetry is the quiet kid sitting in the back row of 10th grade English–shy, quiet, and full of intellectual gumption.


Janine Oshiro

Alice James Books, 2011

78 pages $15.95