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Spirit Birds They Told Me

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Departing from her mother’s Japanese name, One Thousand Cranes, these poems bring a message of trauma and recovery, war and reconciliation, and the passage from personal shame to self-regard. They are historical, political, and personal in the same breath: from the memories of Shigeko Sasamori, Hiroshima survivor, to the author’s quieter struggle for dignity and respect in Albuquerque, New Mexico, resurgent city of the Southwest.

This beautiful collection of poetry is a powerful work of conscience, a telling of “the truest stories ever told” about how injustice wounds—and how those who survive can learn the secrets of dreaming the world anew. Mary Oishi has given us the perfect book for this moment in history.

Demetria Martínez, author of Mother Tongue and Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana