Janaury 2023 Newsletter

Newsletter Index
• Editor's Message • Events • An Interview With Poet Amy Uyematsu About Her Latest Poetry Book “That Blue Trickster Time” • AACP’s January 2023 Poetry Selection • Featured Books

Editor's Message

Hello AACP Newsletter Readers.

Happy New Year and Happy Lunar New Year too!

The Lunar New Year is on January 22 this year. That’s the earliest it has been since 2004 and the earliest it will be until 2042. Hope you’re ready for it.

This month we feature ten books that have some connection to the Lunar New Year or the Chinese Zodiac. One of the books is an interesting folktale original variant of The Great Race story called “Year of the Cat.” An interesting note is that this is the year of the cat according to the Vietnamese version of the zodiac. For those that follow the Chinese version, it’s the year of the rabbit and there is no year of the cat.

For our other featured books we have ten poetry books to continue our annual poetry theme for January. Be sure to check out our interview with award winning poet Amy Uyematsu and our January 2023 Poetry Selection featuring poems by Frances Kakugawa, Amy Uyematsu, AACP staff, and AACP newsletter reader Laura Nakamura.


AACP is trying something new. We are attempting to raise $1000 to help us with our efforts at the California Council for the Social Studies (Feb. 24-26, 2023).

The California Council for the Social Studies Conference is the premier conference for meeting California teachers that may have an interest in the books that we carry and promote.

Now with the new ethnic studies guidelines for the state, it is more important than ever for us to be in attendance at such a conference. We'll be able to assist teachers with their search to find good books to educate their students about AAPI history and culture.

The cost for us to exhibit at this conference is $650. On top of this there will be other expenses for book purchase and handouts. We expect to spend at least $1000 in new inventory purchases alone.

Any contribution you can make will help us create a more useful experience for conference goers.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Click Here to Support Our Efforts


I need to cut this short.

Thank you very much Amy and Frances for your contributions to the articles.

Thank you Laura and Angela for your haikus. Thank you David Nakamura for your help with finding some of the books for our book selection.

Have a happy, prosperous, and most of all, healthy and new year!


Leonard Chan

Executive Editor


Feb. 4, 2023: Redwood City Lunar New Year Celebration


Feb. 4, 2023:  Sacramento Chinese New Year Celebration


Feb. 24-26, 2023: California Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference

Marriott Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA


If you have an event that you would like us to mention and or to participate in, please feel free to let us know.

An Interview With Poet Amy Uyematsu

About Her Latest Poetry Book

“That Blue Trickster Time”

Interviewed by Leonard Chan (LC) and Frances Kakugawa (FK)

Amy Uyematsu is an award winning poet. Her latest book “That Blue Trickster Time”is her sixth published collection. Her other poetry books include, “Basic Vocabulary,”“The Yellow Door,”“Stone Bow Prayer,”“Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain,” and “Thirty Miles from J-Town.”

Amy Uyematsu was the first Publications Coordinator with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center during the formative period of Ethnic Studies at UCLA and other colleges. She later spent 32 years as a high school math teacher.

LC: Welcome Amy Uyematsu. I’ve asked poet Frances Kakugawa to assist me with this interview and I furnished her with a copy of your book.

FK: What a beautiful collection of poetry.

LC: I believe Florence Hongo (head of AACP) has been a fan of your poetry and has made a point to carry your books. This was my first chance to read one of them. Thank you very much for sharing a copy with me.

After I read your bio, I began to wonder if you and Florence crossed paths. You both have common histories that go back to the beginning of the Ethnic Studies Movement in the late Sixties and Seventies. Did you meet back then? What was your connection with AACP (JACP for Japanese American Curriculum Project back then), if any?

Read More

AACP’s January 2023 Poetry Selection

Introduction by Leonard Chan

Welcome to our twelfth annual poetry selection article. We’ve actually been doing this since 2004, but we missed 2012-2019 because the newsletter was on a long hiatus.

You can read more about the history of this series in last year’s article and also read all of our previous articles (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2020, 2021, and 2022).

Some of our other articles even show you how to write your own haikus, tankas, and general poems. Note that a lot of the older articles contain broken resources links. So I’ve included some new links at the end of this article. For learning about how to write poetry, I like the tips that poet Frances Kakugawa gave us in the 2020 interview we did with her.

This article features some of Frances’ poems and a few more of Amy Uyematsu’s poems (she’s featured in an interview we did for this month).

I often hear people say that they don’t get poetry or don’t like it. Admittedly, I find some poetry to be unfathomable. However, poetry was probably one of the earliest forms of literature. It was and is deeply ingrained in our music and oral traditions which precede written language.

Here’s a tanka poem I wrote back in 2009.

You Don't Like Poetry?

 Joni, Bob and Jewel

Feather canyons, diamond sky

Am I standing still?

Red is grey and yellow white

But we decide what we like


Please continue reading for your chance at a reward.

Read More

Featured Books

View full descriptions of all these featured books at Bookshop.org where you'll also have the opportunity to purchase them.

Children's Books

Special Poetry Month Selection