“Kitano’s alluring, well-crafted poems are attuned to tragedy and loss, yet an element of wonder shines through.”
Publishers Weekly

Reviews: The Journal, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Atticus Review, Foreword Reviews

Sky Country

poetry collection, BOA Editions, 2017
Winner of the Central New York Book Award
Finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize

“Christine Kitano writes with clarity and honesty about displacement, deracination, and cultural identity. Her poems in this book convey the dignity of the immigrant in America, the ‘sky country’ of the title. In one of the most moving of them, ‘A Story with No Moral,’ we can see that indeed there is moral depth to all that she writes. She expresses that depth when she affirms, in ‘Autobiography of the Poet at Sixteen,’ ‘we are built for life, / for love, which means / we are built for pain.’ These poems are testimonies of survival and we need their witness as much as ever.”
Mark Jarman, author of The Heronry

“The poems in Sky Country weave, unravel, and stitch together history and time with such a fierce originality that the images buzz in the mind. Lyrically vibrant and sonically alive, Kitano’s gorgeous poems remind us that we are always linked to immigration, to the women that raised us, and it’s through our own language that we do the honoring.”
Ada Limón

“The poems in Sky Country sound far from home, stricken with homesickness, and saturated with longing. While they include both personal and collective history, they’re spoken in the voice of someone strangely alienated from the former and unaccounted for and excluded from the latter. Beautiful and moving.”
Li-Young Lee

Birds of Paradise

poetry collection, Lynx House Press, 2011

Birds of Paradise is a book haunted by ghosts—the restless spirits of a lost father, lost relatives, lost languages. Whether confronting the immense cruelty of the Internment camps, or the smallest childhood sorrow, Christine Kitano recognizes that no calamity, no pain is trivial, and in these moving poems, each is given its due. These are poems of portent, both ominous and salutary: wind pushes a woman out of the way of a speeding car; a girl applies vanishing cream in a vain attempt to disappear. Kitano moves effortlessly through time in these poems, and the insomnia she describes is not a condition, but a zone, a place where dream and reality, past and present work their magic on the poet’s heart. “Everything withers,” a grandmother confesses, but in these poems the generations reach across time, through history and through dreams to hold one another, to comfort the living and to rescue the dead.
Gary Young

A girl whose hair “rises and sparks” becomes her cello, makes mochi the day her father dies to create a “veil between the living and the dead,” who says “without pretty clothes, I was a broken doll,” and remembers her father's history looking at a photo of her “Aunt Chizu, age 22: Topaz Interment Camp, Utah; July, 1944” -- this is the rich imagery of Christine Kitano's debut collection of poems. She draws me into her memories, where her father's trombone “glints in an overflow of moonlight,” and into her vividly imagined daily experiences, where every moment is as pain-tinged as shattering crystal, even working in a sushi restaurant where “Luis' Hands” washing dishes look like “two orange koi swimming in and out of the cup's mouth.” Seeing the world through Christine Kitano's eyes is a touching revelation.
Diane Wakoski

Who You? Hawaii Issei

co-authored with Dennis M. Ogawa
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i' and University of Hawai'i Press, 2017

“Who You?” For Japanese Americans of Hawaii, it is all about the Issei. On the journey to find identity they do not walk alone. The Issei walk with them. They will not lose their way. These stories that honor the Issei are shared by George R. Ariyoshi, former Governor of Hawaii; Fujio Matsuda, former President, University of Hawaii; Sparky Matsunaga, late Senator of Hawaii; Masaji Marumoto, late Justice, Supreme Court of Hawaii; Fumiko Kaya, late founder, Goto of Hiroshima Foundation; and Patsy Sumie Saiki, late author and educator.