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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami is the author of the poetry collections The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks, 2008), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Rebuild (Talonbooks, 2011), and Get Me Out of Here (Talonbooks, 2015). She has worked for various Canadian presses, journals, and organizations. She is the creator of the online poetry projects Project Rebuild (projectrebuild.ca), HENKO (powellstreethenko.ca), WIHTBOAM (whenihavethebodyofaman.com), and co-creator of FIGURE (figureoracle.com), an online poetry oracle, with Angela Rawlings. Her website is sachikomurakami.com.

Murakami holds an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University (2006). Born and raised in Vancouver, she currently lives in Toronto.

LATEST Sachiko Murakami NEWS

January 2017 : Sachiko Murakami is the new writer in residence at U of T

April 2015 : Tonight in Toronto! Talon’s Spring 2015 Poetry Launch

April 2015 : We Have Liftoff! (Photos from Talon’s Spring 2015 Poetry Launch in Vancouver)

April 2015 : Talon’s Spring Poetry to Launch in Vancouver and Toronto

March 2015 : Rebuild and then Get Out

January 2015 : Announcement: New Books for Spring 2015!


Governor General’s Poetry Award finalist (2008), The Invisibility Exhibit.

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award finalist (2009), The Invisibility Exhibit.


The Invisibility Exhibit

Finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry

Finalist for the 2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award


Get Me Out of Here

“[Get Me Out of Here] celebrates resistance to the hegemonic control of space. However, [Murakami’s] ironic and subversive play with form suggests that her restless critique extends even to the methods by which writers describe and depict their subjects. … She voices the inner desires and private longings of passengers to indicate what escapes, hides, or suffers from this surveillanced space. Fear, anger, passion, joy, and sadness distinguish human subjects from objectified products of the airport. At the same time, she is also suspicious of any technology (or poetry) that ‘opens up the self / and its ultrasonic evidence,’ and this scrutiny about mediation seems to involve an examination and re-evaluation of poetic structures. Her eclectic use of anagrams, onomatopoeia, experiments in grammar, and the visual placement of words on the page both bespeaks an interest in form and draws attention to the ‘rules’ of these forms. Frequently, she breaks, varies upon, or adapts these rules to suggest a challenge to totalizing structures and to invite humorous, creative play.”
Canadian Literature

Get Me Out of Here focuses on the airport as network hub, but it also examines the poetic process as a possible mode for communal conversation. Murakami is an explorative poet, an experimenter, who finds modern communication methods poetic in their nature. … Murakami’s mastery at the turn of phrase transcends the tangential, creating a collective expanse of poem branches that stem out from shared inspiration. … This collection is a thought-provoking metaphor for the continual flow that exists in both physical and digital communications. … In Get Me Out Of Here, Murakami fearlessly dives into the potentiality in the excesses of sharing and produces a masterwork that showcases her mercurial talents as an innovator in poetry.”
Rusty Toque



“a unique and thoughtfully crafted book. … Surprisingly, these poems do not feel particularly rich in images or metaphor, but they are bold, political, and engaging. … The poems seem to expand and contract, looking up and around at the structures (both material and immaterial), and subsequently looking inward … It’s clear the poet trusts her readers to settle in, to stop reading, or to renovate, of our own choosing.”
The Fiddlehead

“Murakami has quickly demonstrated a remarkable range and ambition.”

“‘Did this happen, here? Did this/ really happen to me?’ Such a devastated hole gapes in narrative before a moment of potent reconfiguration, and it’s quite ­genius of Sachiko Murakami’s new collection, Rebuild, to pose a doubled speaker of agape grief: both the narrator who has lost a father in troubling circumstances, and the contemporary development-manic city itself, specifically glass-pocked Vancouver, lamenting its gutted and guttered wholeness (acknowledging that wholeness is a myth, yet another hole).”
– Margaret Christakos

“These are angry poems. Proud and angry. But smart and quirky, too, daring us to tear up our death pledge to real estate, and rethink our citizenship in scandalous cities. They ask hard questions about democracy, Olympic extravaganzas, police battalions and single feet that wash up on the beach. What is home in a state where the cost of a house would feed whole villages for years? […] Murakami brings us home to our senses.”
– Meredith Quartermain

“The poems in Rebuild strike at (the crack in) the heart of Vancouver. […] Murakami’s poetry performs erasure on itself, tries to renovate and rebuild. Something faster. Something better. Tears out consonant and vowel, post and beam, with dishwasher, writes elegy, writes condo, writes missing, writes return. Returns to scaffolding, to consonant, to the letters of her dead father’s name.”
– Nikki Reimer


The Invisibility Exhibit

“Here is one woman’s fiercely intelligent response to one of society’s most tragic and pressing dilemmas. Murakami reveals and dismantles the rhetoric of the all-too-familiar missing woman narrative. The Invisibility Exhibit is an articulate and expertly rendered protest against the violence of erasure.”

— Jon Paul Fiorentino

“Sachiko Murakami’s poems transcend the topical to achieve a startling and personal emotional resonance. Reading them, we become at once wiser and more questioning, sadder and more hopeful. A risky, and deeply rewarding, first collection.”

— Stephanie Bolster

The Invisibility Exhibit is an assembly of fine details and drawn connections, as painstaking as it is provocative.”

— Toronto Star

“The final poem of the collection insists ‘What gentleness we must muster now, to lift DNA // from a microscopic edge, to protect / the whole of the woman contained there.’ Murakami’s collection succeeds in embodying this gentleness, along with a startling poetic sensitivity and strength.”

— Matrix

“Murakami is a tightly wound spring finally sprung, releasing ohms of energy and lighting the world of Canadian poetry with a new ampere. She has vaulted into prominence with this her first book.”

— Prairie Fire

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