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Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami was born in Vancouver. She completed an M.A. degree in creative writing at Concordia Unviersity in Montreal in 2006. The poems that comprised her thesis were published in 2008 as The Invisibility Exhibit.  Murakami currently resides in Toronto.


Get Me Out of Here

Toronto: Talonbooks, 2015.
PS8625 .U72 G48 2015

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Why is it often so difficult to stay present in the moment? Poet Sachiko Murakami asked this question in an open call on the Internet, and in airports across the globe, from YVR (Vancouver) to RKV (Reykjavik), people in transit stopped to note in only one sentence their impressions of things, events, people, and feelings. The poems that result from this experiment in crowd-sourcing content search departures and arrivals for a handhold on the fleeting present. Working within and wriggling out of the formal constraint of fourteen lines, Get Me Out of Here explores what poems need to do to stay when the mind is begging to leave.



The Invisibility Exhibit

Toronto: Talonbooks, 2008.
PS8626 .U72 I68 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

These poems were written in the political and emotional wake of the “Missing Women” of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. …
As the title suggests, the concern of this project is an investigation of the troubled relationship between this specific marginalized neighbourhood, its “invisible” populations both past and present, and the wealthy, healthy city that surrounds it. These poems interrogate the comfortable distance from which the public consumes the sensationalist news story by turning their focus toward the normative audience, the equally invisible public. …

Awards and Honours

2008 Governor General’s Literary Awards–Poetry (English) (Finalist)
2009 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award (League of Canadian Poets) (Finalist)




Toronto: Talonbooks, 2011.
PS8626 .U72 R43 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

In a city ironically famous for its natural setting, the roving subject’s gaze naturally turns upward, past the condo towers which frame the protected “view corridors” at the heart of Vancouver’s municipally- guaranteed development plan. But look for the city, and one encounters “a kind of standing wave of historical vertigo, where nothing ever stops or grounds one’s feet in free-fall.”

Murakami approaches the urban centre through its inhabitants’ greatest passion: real estate, where the drive to own is coupled with the practice of tearing down and rebuilding. Like Dubai, where the marina looks remarkably like False Creek, Vancouver has become as much a city of cranes and excavation sites as it is of ocean and landscape. Rebuild engraves itself on the absence at the city’s centre, with its vacant civic square and its bulldozed public spaces. The poems crumble in the time it takes to turn the page, words flaking from the line like the rain-damaged stucco of a leaky condominium.



Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020.
E-book ordered

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

A recovery narrative has a known form: what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like today. In a poem, what can be arranged or interpreted with such certainty, by whom, and to what end? What is the relationship of the performance of recovery via a poem to the truth of the experience? Does one deliver the other? Insert into these considerations the experience of traumas. How is trauma converted by post-trauma experiences? What is the retribution of that experience when articulated as poetry? Enter these questions through the dream, with its unrenderable subjects, landscapes, and plots. Where do dreams meet poetry in their spontaneous, opaque, necessary structures? What do such comparisons yield to the waking reader? What can be rendered intelligible in the soup of long-term recovery?

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Ballantyne, Emily. “Rearticulate, Renovate, Rebuild: Sachiko Murakami’s Architectural Poetics of Community.” In Public Poetics: Critical Issues in Canadian Poetry and Poetics, edited by Bart Vautour, Erin Wunker, Travis V. Mason, and Christl Verduyn. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2015, 177-198.
PS8155.1 .P82 2015

Chan, Sunny. “Consensual Hallucinations: Cyberspace, Narrative, and Poetics in Asian North American Literature.” Master’s thesis, University of British Columbia, 2012.
Available as an open access thesis from the University of British Columbia.


Publisher Arsenal Pulp Press

Publisher Talonbooks