What Do I Read Next?
• A Japanese novelist much admired by Ai is Yukio Mishima, whose masterpiece, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (translated by Ivan Morris, 1994), first published in Japanese in 1956, is about the burning of a temple in Kyoto by a disturbed Buddhist in 1950.
• Ai has said that her greatest inspiration comes from fiction, especially Latin-American fiction. She is particularly enthusiastic about Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970), which inspired her poem “Cuba, 1962.”
• Ai is an admirer of Beyond Heart Mountain, poems by Lee Ann Roripaugh (1999). Roripaugh is part Japanese, and these highly acclaimed poems give voice to the Japanese immigrants of the American West.
• Some readers, including Ai herself, have seen a kinship between her work and that of Norman Dubie. Dubie’s Mercy Seat (2001) contains many of the poems he has written in a period of over twenty years (to a chorus of critical praise), beginning in the late 1960s, as well as a number of new poems.
• Edited by Gerald Costanzo and Jim Daniels, American Poetry: The Next Generation (2000) is an anthology that features the work of many of the best American poets born since 1960.
• New Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell (2001) is a collection of poems written over a period of twenty-four years by one of America’s foremost contemporary poets, who was also one of Ai’s first mentors.