Gozo Yoshimasu

Gozo Yoshimasu

Thursday 27 March 2014


Door Times : 8pm

Tickets : £8 adv / £10 on the door


Gozo Yoshimasu is a pioneering experimental poet, considered one of the most representative figures of Japanese modern literature. His poetry, which he challenges himself to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate, chronicles a timeless pursuit of origins. He also explores the idea of always being in movement. As a traveler his itineraries are a form of a personal "pilgrimage", from the isles of Japan to the American desert, Central Asia, South America or simply common streets in most continents of the world. This constant movement is one of the foundations of his poetry, giving them a sense of rhythm and speed.

For this performance Gozo's partner Marilya Corbot will join him on stage and do a simultaneous reading of Gozo's poetry in English.

"When I began writing poetry in the 1960s, I incurred the displeasure of other poets for the frequent use of unconventional notation such as exclamation points or dots in my work. Though I got used to the fact that my style does not sit well on traditionalists, it has taken 50 years for me to become conscious of what I've been doing exactly. What I try to do is crack open the conventional composition of the language to reveal the innate imperfections underneath the exterior of elegance. In setting out to create flawed pieces, I try to establish an alternative ideal of poetry, by which such pieces find acceptance. I try to enter into this parallel world via my work." - Gozo Yoshimasu, from a Q&A with Asymptote Journal

Yoshimasu has developed his poetry into other forms of artistic expression - photography, engraving, calligraphy and films - gozociné - he connects real landscapes to create a visionary world of his own that captures a delicate, almost invisible texture that exists in all things. As a performer he has cultivated a unique style of recitation, and uses rhythm and vocal modulation to the extent that one might consider it a form of incantation. His voice, at times gentle, at times feverish lends itself to a fascinating meeting with music. His readings have been called "electrifying revelations of the power of poetry to move the heart and mind without the aid of translation". Gozo Yoshimasu has been the recipient of some of the highest literary awards and honours in Japan and abroad. In 2003 he received Japan's medal with Purple ribbon for artistic excellence.

Conversation between Gozo Yoshimasu and Aki Onda


Natural nomad, singer and composer Marilya Corbot does not belong to a special culture and has created through encounters and experiences around the world a unique universe that allows all delicacies and extravagances. The pleasure and hypnotism her voice provides does not exclude the slash of a claw, the blow to the heart. Besides her collaborations with Gozo Yoshimasu Marilya often shares her performances with special and different partners, for instance Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno and musicians Shuichi Chino, Keiji Haino, Jean-Francois Pauvros, Giani Caserotto among others. Japanese photographer Araki with whom she collaborated several times once wrote about her performances “A mood filled with sorcery... Because there's no way to sum up her sound by just saying Marilyan Music I urge you to experience her at least once”.