David Mura is a Japanese American poet, novelist, memoirist, and critic. His most recent book is his novel, Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire (2008). His poetry books are Angels for the Burning (2004); The Colors of Desire (1995), which won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award; and After We Lost Our Way (1989), which won a National Poetry Series contest. His Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei (1991) was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won PEN Oakland's Josephine Miles Literary Award.
"The Last Incantations is a rich, generous book peopled with an energetic, multicultural hood of family and friends, rambunctious youths, fierce ancestors, and a red-carpet array of dead and living poets. Mura's sampling of forms and styles is just as polyvocal and multitudinous—from traditional fully rhymed and metered songs, to engaging blank verse narratives, to exuberant jazz riffing. It is a spirited ride, not to be missed."
"David Mura is a maestro of illumination and nuance, an unrivaled craftsman of stanzas that root themselves in music while holding tight to an unflinching narrative. These poems are hallmarks of fervent witness, the work of a bold and unapologetic writer at the height of his powers."
"These poems are so clear in their intensity that one must squint to enter them, as when trying to sustain a look at the sun. The stupor that fogs our daily lives grows out of the impulse to avoid the noise of personal memory, broken history, all the small yearnings left unfulfilled. The Last Incantations draws us into this jagged music with courage and persistent grace. This book reminds me of how some poems can save us."
Triquarterly Books / Northwestern University Press