By Joseph Woods

Our Shared Japan

An anthology of poetry and haiku by Irish writers, inspired by the literature and culture of Japan


DE ANGELIS, Irene & WOODS, Joseph, editors

To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Japan in 1957, Our Shared Japan, edited by Irene De Angelis and Joseph Woods, and with an Afterword by Seamus Heaney, brings together a large selection of poems and haiku by Irish writers (both in English and in Irish) written or published during those 50 years. Featuring some of the best-known names in contemporary Irish poetry, it also includes many younger poets who have grown up with and, in various ways, responded to those growing connections.

Some of the poets have visited or spent time in Japan and write from that experience; others respond to a Japan of the imagination, adopting or adapting Japanese poetic technique as a means to expand and enrich their own ways of looking at the world.

In this respect, Our Shared Japan is a celebration of outside influence, but it is also a celebration of the power of poetry, wherever we may travel to find it, to bring us to ourselves.

Our Shared Japan is published with the sponsorship of the Cultural Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and with the support of Poetry Ireland.

ISBN 9781904556824 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 250 pp
October 2007

Additional information

Weight .5 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781904556824
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 250 pp
  • Published: : October 2007

About The Author


JOSEPH WOODS was born in Drogheda in 1966. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Harare, Zimbabwe where he works as an independent writer. Woods’ peregrinations have involved extensive travels in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa; he has also lived in Kyoto, Japan and more recently in Yangon, Myanmar. After initial studies in biology and chemistry, Woods eventually took an MA in Poetry and subsequently became Poetry Ireland’s longest serving director until 2013 when he emigrated. Joseph Woods’ first collection, Sailing to Hokkaido (Worple Press, 2001) was awarded the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and Bearings (Worple Press, 2005) followed. Dedalus Press reissued Woods' first two poetry collections in one volume entitled Cargo (2010), and have published his poetry since. Woods’ third collection Ocean Letters (Dedalus Press, 2011) when translated into Hungarian by Tomas Kabdebó, was awarded the Irodalmi Jelen Prize in 2013. The critically acclaimed Monsoon Diary (Dedalus Press, 2018), Woods’ fourth collection, was based in part on his experience of living in Burma. Woods has edited numerous poetry publications, including Our Shared Japan (Dedalus Press, 2007) co-edited with Irene de Angelis; an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry concerning Japan with an accompanying essay by Seamus Heaney. With Gerard Smyth he co-edited The Poetry Project, a web anthology of visual artists and filmmakers interpreting selected poems. Woods is consulting editor to the poetry journal Cyphers and has edited anthologies of Burmese and Zimbabwean poetry for the journal. In 2014 and 2019, Woods was a recipient of the Katherine and Patrick Kavanagh Fellowship, and in 2016 and 2020, he was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary. In Zimbabwe, Woods has edited a history of the Irish in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe and is working on a life of Burmese chronicler, Maurice Collis. He frequently contributes to radio, newspapers and journals. “A poet with the whole world in his hip-pocket.” — James J McAuley