Lee Ann Roripaugh’s most recent book is tsunami vs. the fukushima 50(Milkweed Editions, 2019). The South Dakota State Poet Laureate from 2015-2019, Roripaugh is a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.
About Lee Ann Roripaugh’s latest book:
In March 2011, a tsunami caused by an earthquake collided with nearby power plant Fukushima Daiichi, causing the only nuclear disaster in history to rival Chernobyl in scope. Those who stayed at the plant to stabilize the reactors, willing to sacrifice their lives, became known internationally as the Fukushima 50. tsunami vs. the fukushima 50 looks into the heart of the disaster, introducing its survivors and victims, from a pearl-catcher to a mild-mannered father to a drove of mindless pink robots, as well as the character Tsunami: a force of nature, femme fatale, and “annihilatrix.” Tsunami is part hero and part supervillain—angry, loud, forcefully defending her rights as a living being in contemporary industrialized society. As humanity rebuilds in disaster’s wake, Tsunami continues to wreak her own havoc, battling humans’ self-appointed role as colonizer of Earth and its life-forms.