Janaka Stucky is an American poet, performer, and publisher. The founding editor of Black Ocean, as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome, he is also the author of a few poetry collections. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in The Boston Phoenix.
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. Janaka’s poems are at once incantatory, mystic, and epigrammatic. His esoteric & occult influences, combined with a mesmeric approach to performance, create an almost ecstatic presence on stage.
“Stucky’s raw works … give a dreamlike power to an antinomian religion of erotic love”
“He pulls from Eastern religious texts, mysticism, and the occult, and casts dirty, hallucinatory images onto graceful lines about love, resulting in a collection that is empathetic, nuanced, and wild.”
—The Kenyon Review
“Stucky’s verse has the power of the best East European poets—some of his poems seem to be perfect, magnificent, and instantly anthologizable. He is a forceful, cogent, incisive phrase-maker.”
“Stucky has catapulted into the firmament of my favorite ecstatic writers alongside Diane di Prima, Bill Callahan, Hafiz, e.e. cummings, and Larkin Grimm.”
“The yearning in these poems is awash in dense, spiritual sexuality buffeted by time and the mishandling of promises and breakable bonds.”