Thomas Fitzsimmons went into World War II as an underage merchant seaman just after Pearl Harbor and came out from the USAAF just after Hiroshima. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, October, 1926.
Formerly writer/editor, The New Repuclic, (Washington, DC), feature writer, The Asahi Daily News (Tokyo, Japan), he is author, translator or editor of more than 60 books, 32 of which currently are in print. At present he is editor of two book series from University of Hawai'i Press: Asian Poetry in Translation: Japan, and Reflections.
Emeritus Professor of Literature, Oakland University, he has received a number of honors, including three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (poetry, translation and belles lettres) and several Fulbrights to countries in Europe and Asia. In the mid-1970s, he and Karen Hargreaves-Fitzsimmons did a 16 month, 18 nation poetry-reading/performance/lecturing/workshop tour through the Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe under the auspices of USIS. They live just south of Santa Fe, where they publish Katydid Books, distributed by University of Hawai'i Press.
TF's most recent works are: Fencing the Sky (a folio; art by Karen Hargreaves-Fitzsimmons) 1998, The Poetry and Poetics of Ancient Japan (a translation), 1997; The Dream Machine (poetry, in the collection SEXTET: SIX POWERFUL AMERICAN VOICES), 1996; Water Ground Stone (poetry and prose; art by Karen Hargreaves-Fitzsimmons), 1994; and The New Poetry of Japan: the 70s and 80s (an anthology), 1993.
His Planet Forces, commissioned by 20th Century Unlimited and scored for soprano and 18 instruments by Peter Michaelides, had its premier December 12, 1998 in Santa Fe.
A violin duo composed by Toru Takemitsu to his and Ooka's linked poems in the Japanese-English volume Rocking Mirror Daybreak was commissioned by and is in the repertoire of the New York Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.
Other works by Toru Takemitsu and Makoto Ooka to which he has contributed -- A Way A Lone, and From Far Beyond Chrysanthemums and November Fog, Chamber Music; From Me Flows What You Call Time, Suite for Percussion and Orchestra; and the Symphony, A String Around Autumn.