Janaka Stucky

"When people talk about imagination, they tend to think of fantasy or something made-up, but really imagination is a mode of perception."

Janaka Stucky is a man of many talents – mystic poet, performer, impresario, publisher, and more. He is the founding editor at the award-winning press Black Ocean, as well as the annual poetry journal Handsome.

From 2002 to 2009, Janaka worked as an undertaker which he says greatly influenced and informed his writing. Janaka’s poetry is compelling, mystical, and transcendent. He’s published four poetry collections: Your Name Is The Only FreedomThe World Will Deny It For You, and The Truth Is We Are Perfect. His most recent collection released in 2019, Ascend Ascend, was written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church.

In 2004, Janaka helped to found Black Ocean, and they published their first books in 2006. Based out of Boston, they also have satellites in Chicago and Detroit. In 2015, Jack White’s Third Man Records launched a new publishing imprint, Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. The collection is meant to be performed live, and his occult influences, combined with a mesmeric approach to performance, create an almost ecstatic presence on stage. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver QuarterlyFence, and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation.

Janaka is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in The Boston Phoenix. He mainly works out of Boston, where he likes his whiskey neat and his music dirty.

Third Man Books live at Rough Trade

Film clip courtesy of Rough Trade


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