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Japanese Poet Publishes Bestseller at 99-Years-Old

Poet Toyo Shibata has become a bestselling writer at 99-years-old. The Guardian reports that Shibata has sold 1.5 million copies of her poetry anthology, Don’t Lose Heart (Kujikenaide in Japanese). Publisher Asukashinsha told Reuters that a poetry book with a print run of 10,000 is considered successful.

At age 92, Shibata began writing when back pain forced her to stop her dancing hobby. She self-published the collection of 42 poems in 2009 and hopes to publish another before her 100th birthday in June.

Reuters has this quote from Shibata: “When my first poem was published in a newspaper, I was very, very happy. I sent them another one and that also got published. So I kept on writing … I’m alive to this age thanks to support from my families, friends, care-givers and doctors and am transforming my gratitude into poetry.” (Via the Huffington Post)

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