Hiromi Itō 伊藤 比呂美 is on Poetry Sound Map. Listen to her mesmerizing voice on the map.
Her voice is like exploring a wood at night, finding a fire while surrounded by snow. We transformed her voice into this painting to represent the ‘shamaness of poetry’, Hiromi Itō, a defining force in Japan’s literary world.
"When Hiromi Itō started writing about controversial feminist subjects, such as her sexuality, her menstruation, and her uterus, her father expressed his acceptance but asked her not to continue for the sake of her mother – who in turn did the same. But Itō continued nonetheless, writing about all aspects of her own body – including the sexual organs – in the same way as if she was “simply writing about her hands.” In response to the male-dominated manga she had read, she wanted to be at the center of her writing as ‘the hero.’ Since then, Itō has continued to write honestly about her experiences, like in the famous poem ‘Killing Kanoko’, where she describes how she struggled with postpartum depression – a subject which not many addressed at that time: “When I was holding Kanoko, I was thinking: If I drop her now, she will cry… stuff like that.” Hiromi Itō (b. 1955) is a considered one of contemporary Japan’s most important writers, and has written several poetry collections, novels and essays. Itō is known for writing about subjects such as female sexuality, menstruation, pregnancy as well as the fantasy of killing one’s newborn child. Her many collections of poetry include ‘Killing Kanoko’ (2009) and ‘Wild Grass on the Riverbank’ (2015). Itō is the recipient of major literary awards such as the Noma Literary Prize (1999) and the Tamaki Jun Prize (2006). Hiromi Itō was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2018." (
Cit. Interview to Lousiana Channel)