Sachiko Murakami approaches the urban centre through its inhabitants' greatest passion: real estate. Rebuild engraves itself on the absence of Vancouver's centre, with its cranes, excavation sites, and bulldozed public spaces. Its poems crumble as the page turns, words flaking from the line like rain-damaged stucco off a leaky condominium, exposing the absence life inside the "stanza" of a despised "Vancouver Special."
Sachiko Murakami first collection of poetry The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks 2008) was a finalist for the Governor General's Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. She is a past member of the Kootenay School of Writing collective.
Sachiko Murakami is the author of two previous poetry collections with Talonbooks, The Invisibility Exhibit (2008), a finalist for the Governor Generalâ??s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Rebuild (2011). She is the creator of the online poetry projects Project Rebuild (projectrebuild.ca), HENKO (powellstreethenko.ca), WIHTBOAM (whenihavethebodyofaman.com), and co-creator of FIGURE (figureoracle.com), an online poetry oracle, with Angela Rawlings. She holds an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University (2006) and is currently pursuing an MFA in the Digital Futures program at OCADU. She has been a literary worker for various Canadian presses, journals, and organizations, and sits on the poetry board at Talonbooks. Her website is sachikomurakami.com.
"a unique and thoughtfully crafted book. ... Surprisingly, these poems do not feel particularly rich in images or metaphor, but they are bold, political, and engaging. …The poems seem to expand and contract, looking up and around at the structures (both material and immaterial), and subsequently looking inward ... It's clear the poet trusts her readers to settle in, to stop reading, or to renovate, of our own choosing."
– The Fiddlehead
"Murakami has quickly demonstrated a remarkable range and ambition."
'Did this happen, here? Did this/ really happen to me?' Such a devastated hole gapes in narrative before a moment of potent reconfiguration, and it's quite genius of Sachiko Murakami's new collection, Rebuild, to pose a doubled speaker of agape grief: both the narrator who has lost a father in troubling circumstances, and the contemporary development-manic city itself, specifically glass-pocked Vancouver, lamenting its gutted and guttered wholeness (acknowledging that wholeness is a myth, yet another hole)."
– Margaret Christakos
"These are angry poems. Proud and angry. But smart and quirky, too, daring us to tear up our death pledge to real estate, and rethink our citizenship in scandalous cities. They ask hard questions about democracy, Olympic extravaganzas, police battalions and single feet that wash up on the beach. What is home in a state where the cost of a house would feed whole villages for years? [...] Murakami brings us home to our senses."
– Meredith Quartermain
"The poems in Rebuild strike at (the crack in) the heart of Vancouver. [...] Murakami–s poetry performs erasure on itself, tries to renovate and rebuild. Something faster. Something better. Tears out consonant and vowel, post and beam, with dishwasher, writes elegy, writes condo, writes missing, writes return. Returns to scaffolding, to consonant, to the letters of her dead father's name."
– Nikki Reimer
"Though preoccupied with history and a fear of losing it, Murakami expertly crafts a place of honour and trust in history outside of impermanent, material buildings; she leaves this idea with us, providing a point of consideration of the many issues her poems bring forward."
– Allison LaSorda, Fiddlehead