Akehiro SHIRAI, born in Tokyo in 1970, won the 25th Yutaka Maruyama Memory Modern Poetry Prize for Ikiyō to ikiru hō e (Toward the Direction We Live to Live, Shichōsha, 2015), a book of poetry about his daily life in his second home in Okinawa, where he moved with his family after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. In the essay collection Kibō wa itsumo atarimae no kotoba de katarareru (Hope Is Always Spoken in Common Words, Sōshisha Publishing, 2019), Shirai seeks a language of hope in the desperate times in Japan today.
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