Poet Laureate Mary Oishi on KUNM

KUNM | 89.9 FM in Albuquerque/Santa Fe and through translators from Taos to Truth or Consequences

Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus Mary OishiTune in to KUNM on April 27 at noon, when host Susan Loubet will interview Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus Mary Oishi and discuss her new book of poetry, Sidewalk Cruiseship.

Sidewalk Cruiseship draws on Oishi’s remarkable ability to illustrate the world around her and the people in it. Separated into eleven short sections by traditional Japanese tankas, the poems in Oishi’s newest collection take on the macro and the micro. They respond to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the contentious political climate as they draw readers in to witness intimate moments of people and scenes within Oishi’s beloved city of Albuquerque. The poems explore such themes as mental illness, the joys and sorrows of motherhood, what it is to be a woman in the world, and aging and death. Readers will come away with a better sense of Albuquerque and its inhabitants and will get an intimate look at one of its most passionate citizens—a Japanese American longtime justice activist and mentor for queer youth who embraces the best and worst Albuquerque has to offer. Throughout it all, she reminds us that the best response we can offer is love, even in the face of adversity.

Mary Oishi is the author of Spirit Birds They Told Me, the coauthor of Rock Paper Scissors, and the editor of One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets. She served as Albuquerque Poet Laureate from 2020 to 2022.

The interview can be accessed at 89.9 FM in Albuquerque/Santa Fe and through translators from Taos to Truth or Consequences. It can also be accessed everywhere through KUNM.org.