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Cover of This Is How the Bone Sings by W. Todd Kaneko
August 2020
Black Lawrence Press

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This Is How the Bone Sings

W. Todd Kaneko

Reviewer Karen An-hwei Lee says: "In a lyric collection of profound beauty and grief, 'This Is How the Bone Sings' by W. Todd Kaneko carries the pulse of ancient lament through the boneyards of war and unspeakable trauma. This lyric collection of profound beauty and grief reminds us to share our tales of generational trauma and topography-shaping our individual and collective memories-in place of forgotten histories."


W. Todd Kaneko earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Arizona State University in 2006.

Praise for this book

"What does it mean to be safe in America? In 'This Is How the Bone Sings,' W. Todd Kaneko explores the legacy of concentration camps in the United States and how memory is carried forward. Brilliant and inventive in its use of form, Kaneko weaves in haikus as sentences and haibun as reading comprehension quizzes. Reaching into myth and ancestry, these poems pull out rich narratives and lyricism, where even in the most brutal pasts, horses whisper truths and a boy is born of a peach."

Traci Brimhall, author of "Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod"

"The best books about history are those that are also about the future. W. Todd Kaneko’s marvelous 'This is How the Bone Sings' is more than a mere song — it is a singing across time and distance. In lyrics both personal and political, Kaneko composes a score that spans four generations, connecting his grandparents, who were prisoners in the unfathomable Minidoka concentration camps, to his young son and this unfathomable era in which he was born. This is a must read."

Dean Rader, author of "Self Portrait as Wikipedia Entry"