Lawrence “Larry” Matsuda

Poets Gallagher, Matsuda to read from collaboration this Thursday

PORT ANGELES — Tess Gallagher of Port Angeles and her friend and writing partner Lawrence “Larry” Matsuda will give a reading from their recent collaboration, “Boogie Woogie Crisscross,” on Thursday.

The reading will be at 12:30 p.m. as the Studium Generale in the Little Theater at the Port Angeles Peninsula College campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

The poems developed via emails exchanged between Gallagher and Matsuda throughout a number of years. The resulting collaboration is a poetry jam session where they trade and borrow images and run riffs on each other’s poems.

Gallagher characterizes the style as being “kind of hip and comic book and jangly and also prickly with antennae. Like any dance, it’s also an invitation to lose time and as Larry says — to show your ‘chops.’ A kind of dueling banjos.”

In addition to her collaboration with Matsuda, Gallagher just had a poem from her newest book, “Is, Is Not,” published in The New Yorker. The book will be released in 2019.

Her latest book, “Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems” (Graywolf), was published in September 2011.

Graywolf also published Gallagher’s “Dear Ghosts” and “Moon Crossing Bridge,” as well as other works, including her selected stories, “The Man from Kinvara.”

Her essay collections, “A Concert of Tenses” and “Soul Barnacles,” are available from University of Michigan Press.

She recently companioned the film “Birdman,” which includes one of the short stories of her late husband, Raymond Carver: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

She encouraged its director, Alejandro Inarritu, throughout his work on the film, and their friendship led to his mentioning her as he received four Oscars for the film in 2015.

This friendship continued through Inarritu’s work on “The Revenant,” during which Gallagher sent him poems he said he read to energize himself at breaks in the filming process.

Gallagher lives and writes in Port Angeles, her birthplace, as well as spending intervals in her cottage in the west of Ireland.

Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho, World War II Relocation Center, an internment camp.

He was among the approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were held without due process, some for three or more years.

Matsuda has a doctorate in education and was a visiting professor at Seattle University.

In 2005, he and two colleagues co-edited the book “Community and Difference: Teaching, Pluralism and Social Justice” (Peter Lang Publishing, New York). It won the 2006 National Association of Multicultural Education Phillip Chinn Book Award.

In 2010, Black Lawrence Press published his first book of poetry, “A Cold Wind from Idaho.”

His second book, “Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner,” was released in August 2014. It is a collaboration between Matsuda and artist Roger Shimomura.

In 2015, he completed two graphic novels with artwork by Matt Sasaki and interviews with Japanese-American fighters from the 442nd and their relatives. Part one, “An American Hero: Shiro Kashino,” was released in April 2015 and part two, “Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers,” was released in September 2015.

They are published by Wing Luke Museum and Nisei Veterans Committee Foundation.

For more information on the Peninsula College presentation, email Janet Lucas at [email protected].

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