WRIGHT, Hillel




Author Tags: Fiction, Poetry

At the invitation of Rex Weyler, Allen Ginsberg accepted an invitation to lead a poetry and meditation retreat at Hollyhock Farm on Cortes Island for a handful of participants, including Trevor Carolan, who recorded his memories of accompanying his mentor to Cortes Island in Giving Up Poetry: With Allen Ginsberg at Hollyhock (Banff Centre Press, 2001). An excerpt has been reprinted in the collection entitled off beat (Printed Matter Press, 2009), edited by Hillel Wright, who recorded an interview with Ginsberg at Hollyhock on May 5, 1985, using a portable, reel-to-reel tape recorder from Vancouver Co-op Radio, having sailed the island and anchored offshore.

Hillel Wright had lived on Cortes Island from 1975 to 1978. off beat features the transcript of Wright’s 45-minute talk with Ginsberg, as well as a CD version. “After we had stopped the tape recorder and smoked some of the best homegrown buds I’d ever had, the interview took a decided turn for the better and we talked about underground comics, poetry magazines, his favourite music and musicians, Bob Dylan’s lyrics, pornography, the Evergreen Review, poet D.A. Levy and the FBI.”

Hillel Wright's novel "Border Town" recounts the life, loves and legend of a fictional female manga artist whose controversial comix stories challenge a Japanese Emperor. Five years in the writing, it is now available on-line (http://imcbook.net), thru New Orphic Publishers in Canada, and at bookstores in Japan and the USA.

Dedicated to oddball major league baseball player Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Hillel Wright's compilation of memoirs and fictions called Rotary Sushi (New Orphic Publishers, 2003, $20) also includes drawings, Japanese text and 'zen coyote stories'.

Wright was born on December 27, 1943 in Denver, Colorado and raised in the United States. He lived for 25 years on the West Coast of Canada before moving to Japan. He has since become involved in numerous cooperative projects. Wright co-edited Poesie Yaponesia: A Bilingual Anthology (2002) with Taylor Mignon and he has edited Faces in the Crowd: A Tokyo International Anthology (Tokyo. Printed Matter Press, 2002). Much earlier he edited Evolution Transcended: 14 Island Poets (1982). He has published two poetry collections, Single Dad (1991) and Welcome to the Below Tide Motel (Trabarni, 1993), as well as one 'novel in nine stories' called All Wordly Pursuits (New Orphic 2001 0-9687317-6-7). It's the story of a fisherman in the late 1960s named Wiley Moon who is seized by the wanderlust of his Jewish ancestors.

In 2008, Hillel Wright edited Jungle Crows, an anthology that includes poetry, short fiction, essays, translation from Japanese and art by 35 expatriate writers (from Canada, India, Ireland, U.K. [England & Wales], U.S.A. and Viet Nam) who live or have lived in Greater Tokyo.

From 1990 to 1997 Wright wrote a movie, television and video review column called Wiley Moon's Planet Video for two north Vancouver Island magazines, Island Life and The Big Valley, plus the Comox Valley Independent newspaper. Wright has also worked as a commercial fisherman, college teacher, tree planter and artist's model.

For many years Hillel Wright lived with his wife (and "muse") Shiori Tsuchiya in Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, as a Japan Correspondent for Fishing News International, a London, England-based monthly newspaper for the commercial industry, distributed world-wide. They moved to Naha, Okinawa, Japan, from Kawasaki, five days after an earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

He resides part-time in Sointula, B.C.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA: 1972

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Commercial Fishing, Lecturer at Japanese University

AWARDS: Japanzine Short Story Award 2003; 2008.

Westcoast Fisherman Best Short Story 2001, CBC Really Short Story Contest Winner 1996

BOOKS:

River Road: a novel of six stories, (Tokyo: Printed Matter Press 2012) 978-1-933606-28-6

off beat: Allen Ginsberg interview with Hillel Wright (Printed Matter Press 2009). 978-1-933606-19-4
Jungle Crows; a Tokyo expatriate anthology (Tokyo & New York: Printed Matter Press, 2007). Edited by Hillel Wright; Foreword by Suzanne Kamata; Cover art by Akemi Shinohara. ISBN 978-1-933606-12-5
256 pp $25.00/2500yen
Border Town (Printed Matter Press, Tokyo & New York, 2006). 1-933606-08-8
Rotary Sushi; many kinds of stories + 5 translations by Mihiro Kizuki, New Orphic Publishers (Nelson, BC 2003)
Faces in the Crowds; a Tokyo international anthology (Editor), Printed Matter Press (Tokyo 2002)
All Worldly Pursuits; a novel in nine stories, New Orphic Publishers, 2001, 2nd ed. 2002
Poesie Yaponesia; a bi-lingual anthology (Co-editor with Taylor Mignon), Printed Matter Press (Tokyo 2000)
Welcome to the Below Tide Motel (poetry), Trabarni Press (Coquitlam, BC 1993)
Single Dad, (poetry chapbook), Trabarni Press (Coquitlam, BC 1991)
Evolution Transcended; poems from the heart of the inland sea (anthology of 14 island poets - Editor), High Tides Press (Courtenay, BC 1982)

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Married to Maureen Fath from 1972-1981, 4 children: Hano, b.1972; Anita, b.1974; Teresa, b.1976; Rose, b.1979. Married to Shiori Tsuchiya from 1998 to present

[BCBW 2012]

off beat edited by Hillel Wright (Printed Matter Press)
Article



In 1985, at the invitation of Rex Weyler, Allen Ginsberg accepted an invitation to lead a poetry and meditation retreat at Hollyhock Farm on Cortes Island for a handful of participants that included Trevor Carolan, who recorded his memories and impressions of accompanying his mentor to Cortes Island in Giving Up Poetry: With Allen Ginsberg at Hollyhock (Banff Centre Press, 2001). An excerpt has been reprinted in the collection entitled off beat, edited by Hillel Wright, who recorded an interview with Ginsberg at Hollyhock on May 5, 1985, using a portable, reel-to-reel tape recorder from Vancouver Co-op Radio. “After we had stopped the tape recorder and smoked some of the best homegrown buds I’d ever had, the interview took a decided turn for the better and we talked about underground comics, poetry magazines, his favourite music and musicians, Bob Dylan’s lyrics, pornography, the Evergreen Review, poet D.A. Levy and the FBI.” off beat features the transcript of Wright’s 45-minute talk with Ginsberg, as well as a CD version. 978-1-933606-19-4

[BCBW 2010]