Deliberations on Diaspora
Deliberations on Diaspora
Joy Kogawa’s Poetry

with Bronte McMaster, IanMichalek, and Sarah Prowten

Our podcast discusses Joy Kogawa’s collection of poems from her book “The Splintered Moon.” This episode explores Kogowa’s background and the history of Japanese-Canadian internment in Canada, while ultimately relating these topics to the content of her poems and our interpretations. We analyze four poems int his collection: Righteous Cleansing, I Know Who I Am, Communication, and We Had Not Seen It. In these poems, underlying themes of trauma, racism, and societal exclusion link numerous narratives relating to the larger study of diaspora. We touch on Canada’s hierarchical social system and show how the government reflected these values during Japanese-Canadian internment.Moreover, we examine how Kogowa’s writings serve as a form of activism and positive change moving forward, especially given the Canadian government’s offers of reconciliation in recent decades.