Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Poets and Poems - Susan Delaney

Moonshadows and Night Rainbows

5 a.m. The moon is high and bright and casts deep shadows. My moonshadow is my compass for my three mile walk. No match for streetlight, it disappears when I walk into a circle of a streetlight.

Night rainbows are silver and can be seen arced in sprinkler mist and in shimmering sheets in dewy grass.

Stopping in the curve of a cul-de-sac, brightly lit by a streetlight, I see a circular band of light around my shadow. When I stretch my arms out, the round silver rainbow extends a foot past my shadow fingertips.

brushed by my moonshadow
the frog
leaps away

Susan writes:

Here I am, at my mini-rolltop, haiku desk, with the bowl I made to hold the scraps of paper on which I write my proto-haiku. The oval bowl is stoneware and is carved on the bottom to resemble the shell of a turtle. The scraps of paper containing proto-haiku can be sticky notes, cash register receipts, envelope fragments, torn index cards, any kind of paper, really. When I can gather the right kind of energy, I pull the scraps of paper out and out and polish them into haiku, tanka or suchlike. The photographer is my darling daughter, Sarah Mech.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scott Owens - Paternity

This just in from Scott Owens:

My new book of poems, Paternity, is scheduled for release in mid-February and is available for advance order right now. The advantage of ordering in advance is that you can buy it at a discount. The cover price will be $14, but by ordering it online from the publisher's website, you can get it for $9 plus shipping ($1 for one book).

The book can be ordered from the Coming Soon page of the MSR Online Bookstore. Here is a link that will take you directly there: You can also see a few comments from previous readers and preview a few of the poems.

The sooner we meet the publisher's advance sale goal, the sooner the book will be released, so order now.

Please note: For those who would rather not order online, Paternity may also be ordered by check or credit card directly from the publisher; however, the discount is not as much if ordered this way ($12/book--postage included). Send to: Main Street Rag, PO BOX 690100, Charlotte, NC 28227-7001. Credit card orders, call 704-573-2516 (M-F 9am-5pm EST).

Paternity by Scott Owens

Published by: Main Street Rag Publishing Company

ISBN: 978-1-59948-222-4, 76 pages, $14 (cover price)

All my best,
Scott Owens

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meetings and Contest Results

Here's a follow-up to a previous announcement from Howard Lee Kilby:

2009 HSA South Region Meeting

I want to invite you to attend the South Region Conference of the Haiku Society of America. It will be held at the Hot Springs airport conference room, 525 Airport Road, in Hot Springs Arkansas, Friday and Saturday, November 6-7, 2009. The airport telephone number is 501-624-3306.

If you would like to give a presentation on a haiku topic, please contact me at and cc our program chairman, Celia Stuart-Powles at

This will be our 13th annual meeting. Please let me know if you are coming so that I can prepare a special greeting.

We will also have an Asian Elephant gift exchange. Please bring a wrapped $5-10 haiku-y gift. The exchange is coordinated by Susan Delphine Delaney. You can contact her at if you have questions. This is a fun and cherished part of our meeting.

For additional information, contact Howard Lee Kilby at 501-767-6096.

Ron Moss sent this link to the Haiku Dreaming Australia Awards results:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

David Serjeant - Three Questions

David Serjeant lives in the UK. He was introduced to haiku at school in the 1980s. His passion for haiku re-ignited when he treated himself to Cor van den Heuvel's Haiku Anthology at the turn of the millennium. He has since been published in Blithe Spirit, Presence, Simply Haiku, The Heron's Nest and Shamrock amongst others.

His blog "Distant Lightning" is at

1) Why do you write haiku?

I like the portability of the form. I have at least one small notebook with me everywhere I go that could potentially contain a hundred haiku or proto-haiku along with notes and observations. A few spare seconds of flicking through can reveal nuances and developments that I hadn't previously considered. I guess I enjoy whittling and crafting something so concentrated and the fact that some haiku jump out immediately, while others need some care before they reveal themselves. I often observe things and think "there's a haiku in that" but may not feel capable of expressing what I need to express until months or even years later.

I used to obsessively keep a journal, but the urge to do this has ebbed over time. Also as a geology graduate, I can't help but collect stones from the places I visit. I see haiku-writing as a continuation of these processes. It anchors me in a particular moment, pretty much in the same way as holding a lump of basalt can take me back twenty years to a remote Scottish island.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Illness has meant that I sometimes have a limited attention span, so because of this, I tend to veer toward short forms.

I have on occasion dabbled in concrete poetry and I get a tremendous kick out of seeing this done well.

I recently acquired a book by the land-artist Andy Goldsworthy and was struck how the captions of his photographs were almost haiku-like in themselves. The photographs of intertwined leaves or dust flung into the air also seemed to share common qualities with the poetry I admire.

I like to think that poetry is inherent in most things I see or hear and the mark of a good poet is someone who can unlock the rhythms of the world in whatever form they can manage even if no words are involved.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you’ve written, what do you consider to be your top three?

no easy task this - if you ask me again tomorrow I would undoubtedly pick a different three:

summer night
the old stone wall
still warm

[Presence #35]

dusting the corners -
the curl of legs
on a spider husk

[Simply Haiku 6:4 Winter 2008]

... and one very personal piece:

new year's eve
the bowl slips from my fingers

[MS Society UK website / current issue of Lynx - part of the "Limboland" sequence]

I have been enjoying this series immensely. Thank you Curtis for giving me the opportunity to share some time on Tobacco Road.

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that David answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

David Grayson will be our guest next week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poets and Poems - Collin Barber


It seems so long ago this morning, since I purchased a book by her favorite poet, the late Charles Bukowski. Over the distance of at least three states, I've carried its title with me in my head: What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire. Even after all these years, I am amazed at how four months with someone can feel like an eternity. Her name was Julia, and we met at a bar quite like the one I have entered tonight.

Most of the surrounding counties are dry, but life on the road has cultivated my ability to find places where patrons imbibe deep into the night. Tomorrow is the third day of my current journey, and I have no idea where it will end. I don't even know the name of this town, but I feel as if I've been here many times before.

summer night —
the jukebox plays
what she always played

Collin Barber
Frogpond XXIX:3, autumn 2006

Photo credit: Paul Hopkins

Harold G. Henderson & Gerald Brady Contest Results

Francine Banwarth informed me that the Harold G. Henderson & Gerald Brady Contest results have been posted. Click on the appropriate link below to view the results:

Congratulations to all!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2009 Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming

Lenard D. Moore will participate in the 2009 Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming on September 25 & 26. The theme for this year's homecoming is entitled “Evolving Expressions: Shaping the Written Word”.

Additional information and a full schedule are available on this web page.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tanka, Haibun, Haiku, Publications and Submissions

This just in from Dick Whyte:

Hey Curtis,

My name is Dick Whyte and I am a haiku poet from Wellington, New Zealand. I have been enjoying your blog and I wanted to let you know that Laurence Stacey and I have started a new journal called 'Haiku News'. Many people have tried to start haiku zines inspired by the news, but none of them were interested in the modern art of haiku. At Haiku News we are attempting to merge the serious art of modern English haiku (and senryu/tanka) with contemporary current events in the effort to inject the political with the personal, through the poetic. Have a look:

Anyway - we are taking submissions and I was wondering if you would mind making an announcement on your blog (as I noticed you often make announcements of journals open for submission). If not, that is cool, but I thought I would let you know.

Many thanks for your time.

All the best,
Dick Whyte (co-editor of Haiku News)

From: The Sketchbook Editors, Karina Klesko and John Daleiden

Dear Sketchbook Reader,

The current issue of Sketchbook is now on line. The July / August 2009 Sketchbook contains poems, art and features from eighty-nine writers / artists from twenty countries including: Australia, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Hungry, India, Japan, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States.

The haiku thread for the next issue is "leaves": September / October 2009 Leaves Haiku Thread.

The kukai for the next issue is "harvest moon": Announcing September / October 2009 "harvest moon" Kukai

The Sketchbook editors invite you to read the current issue. Submissions are open to the general public. The submission deadline for the next issue is October 20, 2009. We are interested in publishing eastern and western short poetry forms. We encourage writers to submit collaborative forms. Authors who have not yet published work in Sketchbook should include a short bio and jpg photo with their submission.

Send to:

We hope you enjoy the most recent issue of Sketchbook.

The Editors: Karina Klesko and John Daleiden


Kikakuza is a group of haikai (linked-verse) poets founded in 2005 in honour of Kikaku (1661~1707), Basho’s celebrated disciple. We wish to help revive the tradition of haibun, which gradually went out of favour after the Meiji Restoration. For this purpose, we started a Haibun Contest last year. In the English section, we received 90 entries from 17 different countries. Below are the guidelines for our Haibun Contest this year. You are warmly invited to participate. The contest will be judged by Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill and the results will be announced in the Kikakuza Bulletin and on its homepage, awards being sent directly to the winners.

Conditions of Entry

1 Subject: Free, but discretion must be used to avoid slander and obscenity. All works should be original and unpublished.

2 Style: No restrictions, but special attention must be paid to honour the spirit of haikai.

3 Length: Not more than 30 lines, each line not more than 80 spaces long. Some leniency will be afforded by the judges, but we cannot accept any work running beyond a single page.

4 Haiku: At least one haiku should be included. They need not necessarily be phrased in three lines.

5 Title: A title must precede the main body of haibun.

6 Format: Print on a sheet of A4 size paper and write at the bottom your name (and your pen name if you have any), together with your address, telephone number, and email address (if you have one). Your privacy will be strictly protected, and the judges will not see your names or details. If you are submitting more than one piece, each piece should be printed on a separate sheet of paper.

7 Deadline: All entries should reach the following address between 1 October and 31 January 2010. Entries received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Ms Motoko Yoshioka, Regalia 907, 7-32-44 Fujimicho, Tachikawa City, Tokyo 190-0013, Japan

8 Entry Fee: All entrants residing in Japan are kindly requested to pay 2000 yen into the following postal money order account and send a receipt (or a copy of it) together with your haibun. For this fee you may enter up to three haibun.

Postal Money Order: 00250-4-95332 Kikaku no Kai

Entrants from outside Japan are kindly requested to send 1000 yen by international postal money order or use IRC coupons. For this fee, you may submit up to three haibun entries. No entry fee will be requested from those living in countries where there is no international postal money order or coupons. You should explain your difficulty, however, in your covering letter. We cannot accept personal cheques because it is so costly to process them.

9 Questions: All questions should be sent by post to the address above or by email to the following address:

10 Sample haibun can be read at the following sites: (or click ‘longer haibun’ from top page) (both in English and Japanese)


Sponsored by AHA Books

For this special anniversary contest, there will be a print version of Tanka Splendor 2009 available in paperback.

1. Thirty-one tanka and three tanka sequences will be awarded publication in Tanka Splendor 2009 and for each winning entry the author will receive a perfect-bound, 75 page paperback book containing all the winning poems.

2. Deadline: Midnight September 30, 2009.

3. Each author may submit either a group of up to three (3) unpublished tanka or one tanka sequence of any length. All material must be original and not under consideration elsewhere.

4. There is no entry fee.

5. Individual tanka should be in English, written in five lines containing 31 or fewer syllables, preferably without titles.

6. The tanka sequence should consist of a title with three or more tanka, each of which contains 31 or less syllables written in five lines.

7. Send your entry by email to: All entries will be confirmed.

8. The judging will be done only by the persons with a valid e-mail address who have entered the contest. Each contestant will receive an e-mail with an address on the web showing the anonymous poems for judging. The contestants are invited to declare their choices for the best single tanka and best sequence. After tabulating these votes the 31 single tanka and three sequences which receive the most votes will be published as Tanka Splendor 2009 as an AHA Books Online and a special anniversary version book will be printed of all the winning poems.

9. Rights return to authors upon publication.

Thank you for passing this along to other tanka poets!

Book Launch Announcement: Huge Blue by Patrick M. Pilarski

Leaf Press is thrilled to announce publication of Huge Blue, Patrick M. Pilarski’s first full-length collection of poetry.

"Patrick Pilarski’s spare poems shape a pointillist map of the west, placing dot by dot exactly on the large canvas of place and emotion. His poems locate‘the quiet point a hook can never reach’ with lyric exactness and flashes of sly fun." - Alice Major

A collection of contemporary haiku, tanka, haibun, tanka prose, senryu, and quatrains, Huge Blue is a poetic tour guide to Canada’s stunning western landscapes. Huge Blue bridges contrasting physical landscapes with recurring characters and images—crows, moments, light and sky. These lead the reader through each different environment, presenting snapshots of rich diversity while at the same time connecting to a unified progression of time and place. Using precise and direct language, the poems in Huge Blue form junction points between humanity and wilderness under a vaulting expanse of sky. Poems in the book are divided into three sections: Prairie, Mountain, and Coast.

Patrick M. Pilarski is the co-editor of DailyHaiku, an Edmonton-based international journal of English-language haiku, and poetry editor for its new sister publication DailyHaiga. Patrick’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies across North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, and he is the author of one chapbook of experimental haiku and haibun: Five Weeks.

To purchase a copy, please contact the publisher: Leaf Press, Box 416, Lantzville, BC, Canada, V0R 2H0,, or order online using PayPal at

For more information about readings, the book, or the author, please contact Ursula Vaira at, 250.390.3028. Patrick M. Pilarski can be contacted directly via or

Huge Blue
by Patrick M. Pilarski
September 2009
ISBN 978-1-926655-02-4
4.25 x 5 inches; perfect bound; scarlet fly sheets
104 pages; $16.95 CAN

A digital copy of this release, plus media kit and photos, is available online:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cathy Drinkwater Better - Three Questions

Cathy Drinkwater Better works as a newspaper editor and columnist, a children’s book author, and a freelance editor and writer. A widely published poet in a variety of genres, in recent years she has concentrated mostly on Asian forms including haiku, senryu, tanka, and haibun. She also enjoys combining her poems with art and photography in both traditional and modern haiga. Her poetry has been published in the U.S., Canada, and abroad since 1969, including three haiku chapbooks. Cathy has won numerous awards for both poetry and journalism, including prizes in the annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival Haiku Contest, the Zen Garden Haiku Contest, the Francine Porad Awards, and the Yellow Moon Competition; as well as First Place, Local Column/Humor or Features for the past four years running in the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association Editorial Contest. Long a student of many Asian traditions, Cathy holds a second-degree black belt in shorinji-ryu kenkokan karate and has achieved instructor-level in the martial art of t’ai chi ch’uan. Cathy and her husband, Doug Walker, live in Eldersburg, Maryland, USA, where they own and operate Black Cat Press, producing and publishing limited-edition collections of Asian-style poetry and art. They named the press after their black cat, Raven; Kiki, their long-haired calico, has never forgiven them.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Why not? But seriously, folks…. I write haiku because I’m a photographer. In a photo you try to capture a moment in time—a butterfly perched on a flower or a bee in mid-flight; a baby’s first smile or first steps; the perfect sunset over the water or a rodeo contestant airborne after being thrown from a bucking bronco—because those images take hold of our imagination or inspire some emotion in us that we don’t want to lose. We can hold onto the memory forever and share what it looked like with others through the medium of photography. A haiku is a word-photo: a flash, an instant, a moment in time that somehow grabbed us in mid-stride and wouldn’t let us go. We encapsulate the images of that moment forever in a few words that can be read in one breath. But the images of a haiku go deeper than dye on photo paper ever could. A haiku has layers that reveal themselves with each reading and rereading. If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then I think a well done haiku might be worth ten thousand. It’s at least as much of a creative challenge to write a worthy haiku as it is to get “the perfect shot” with a camera—in part because the sound of the poem, the rhythm and pacing, whether read to oneself or aloud, has to be just right; but also because, in such a diminutive form, every single word, right down to an “a” or a “the,” makes such a huge difference to the success or failure of the poem. As Mark Twain wrote in his hilarious—yet utterly brilliant— essay, “The Literary Offenses of James Fenimore Cooper”: “An author should: [Rule 13] Use the right word, not its second cousin.”

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I love to read and write tanka—they give you more wiggle-room than a haiku, and sometimes you want that. Sometimes what you need to say would spill over in a haiku but fits neatly into a tanka. I’ve been publishing poetry in various styles for 40 years—since I was a flower child. I’ve read and written free verse, blank verse, and prose poems. For several years I supplemented my income by writing humorous light verse for a local newspaper; and once I even penned a story for a children’s magazine entirely in limericks. But for at least eight years or so apparently I’ve somehow drifted to a place where I’m focusing almost exclusively on haiku and tanka (with a bit of traditional and photo haiga and some haibun thrown in now and then). These forms seem to be the perfect medium for whatever I find myself needing or wanting to express. I simply can’t see blathering on verse after obscure verse anymore when I can state my piece in three or five lines, in the least possible words. I was once asked in an interview whether my newspaper humor columns started out very long before I cut them down to the desired 600- to 700-word length. “No,” I replied quite seriously, “I begin with a punch-line…and then I pad.” With haiku and tanka, I don’t have to pad.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you’ve written, what do you consider to be your top three?

I don’t know about “top three,” but here are a few recent ones:

spring rain…
scent of the seaweed soap
as it slips through my hands

Bottle Rockets 11:1 (No. 21), August 2009

of the frog brooch
rain sound

Bottle Rockets 11:1 (No. 21), August 2009

those kids
in my yard again—
first crocus sprouts

Magnapoets, No.4, July 2009

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Cathy answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

David Serjeant will be our guest next week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jim Kacian & A Call for Submissions

Jim Kacian was featured on Norbert Blei's excellent poetry dispatch today. Click on this link to see the article about Jim.

This just in from Aurora Antonovic:

Just a reminder that Magnapoets print journal's next submission period is October 1-31, for the January 2010 issue. Full submission guidelines found here:

Please be sure to send work to the appropriate editor.

Payment is one contributor's copy.

Best wishes,

Aurora Antonovic

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tweet Your Haiku

This just in from Dave Russo:

Who knows? Maybe a brisk plunge into crowd-sourced poetry is just what you need before fall comes on with its ghosts and melancholy.

Please consider adding your haiku and senryu to a stream of poetry that will be displayed on large monitors in various venues at SPARKCon, an arts festival in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Follow this link for more information.

Part Four of the Fred and Susan Chappell reading

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Awards, Meetings, and Publications

2009 Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards (all winning authors and editors)

Congratulations to all the winning authors and editors,

2009 Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards for Excellence in Published Haiku, Translation and Criticism

an'ya and Cherie Hunter Day, Judges

The First Place award is for Best First Book and is made possible by Leroy Kanterman, co-founder of the Haiku Society of America, in memory of his wife Mildred Kanterman.

First Place for Best First Book: “a wattle seedpod” – lorin ford, Post Pressed 207/50 Macquarie St, Teneriffe, Qld, 4005 Australia.

Second Place: “Empty Boathouse: Adirondack Haiku” – Madeleine Findlay, Single Island Press, 379 State Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Third Place: “An Unknown Road” – Adelaide B. Shaw, Modern English Tanka Press, P.O. Box 43717, Baltimore, MD 21236

Special Award for Anthology: “dandelion clocks” – edited by Roberta Beary and Ellen Compton, Haiku Society of America Members Anthology 2008

Available from HSA Treasurer, Paul Miller, 31 Seal Island Road, Bristol, RI 02809

Special Award for Themed Haiku Collection: “it has been many moons” S.B. Friedman, Lily Pool Press (Swamp Press). Copies available from S.B. Friedman: 119 Nevada St., San Francisco CA 94110-5722.

Special Award for Chapbook: “Distant Sounds” – Helen Russell, Edited by Connie Hutchison, Ann Spiers and Ruth Yarrow. Handmade limited edition.

Special Award for Haibun: “contemporary haibun, Volume 9” – edited by Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross and Ken Jones, Red Moon Press, P.O. Box 2461, Winchester, VA 22604-1661

Special Award for Haiku Criticism and Theory: “Poems of Consciousness” – Richard Gilbert, Ph.D, Red Moon Press, P.O. Box 2461, Winchester, VA 22604-1661

In the competition for this year's Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards for books published in 2008, 43 entries were received. The judges comments will appear in Frogpond Volume 33:1 2010.

Carmen Sterba

HSA 1st VP

This just in from Howard Lee Kilby:

Hi Curtis,

We're having the 13th annual South Region Conference of the Haiku Society of America in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas on November 6-7, 2009. There is no registration fee. The public is invited. We meet at the municipal airport conference room. Anyone who enjoys haiku is welcome to attend. For more information contact Howard Lee Kilby at use HAIKU CONFERENCE in the subject line.

Life is fun.

MASKS is online. Scott Metz sent this:

We welcome you to visit MASKS no. One, now online:

MASKS is a new haiku journal that publishes work by poets using a haigyō, or pen name, and will be appearing as a regular new section—or journal within a journal—of Roadrunner.

We are now considering work for issue no. Two and warmly welcome your submissions.

Please send 5 to 50 poems using at least one pen name.

The due date for submissions is October 15th. Please allow a few months for us to get back to you.

For no. Two we are looking to publish exceptional, individual, poems instead of selections of work. In addition, we welcome submitters to also send us short bios or blurbs about your pen name(s)/persona(s)/mask(s). Some background. Some history. Have fun with it.

Lastly, a prize of $20 will be given to the best poem from issue no. One and will be republished in no. Two. The money is a generous gift from an anonymous person and the "best" poem prize will be chosen by an anonymous judge. We plan to present this award for each issue.

We hope you enjoy no. One and consider sending us your work for no. Two.

Chris Gordon & Scott Metz

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Three Questions - Rick Black

Rick BlackRick Black, a book artist, journalist and poet, is the founder of Turtle Light Press. Over the past few years, Rick has dedicated himself to learning the bookmaking trade so that he could combine his love of words and stories with his desire to work with his hands.

Rick has studied various facets of bookbinding with Maria Pisano, Susan Mills, Carolyn Chadwick, Yukari Hayashida, and Carol Barton, among others. In 2003, he was awarded one of eight emerging writer awards to attend an intensive Letterpress Printing Seminar at The Center For Book Arts in New York.

For more than twenty years, Rick was a professional journalist, including a three-year stint in the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. He has also freelanced for numerous newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Jerusalem Post, The Forward, Archeology, Cicada, and Cricket.

In addition to his work in journalism, Rick has been a haiku poet for the past ten years and has garnered several international awards for his poetry, including first prize in the James W. Hackett Award, sponsored by The British Haiku Society and third prize in the Betty Drevniok Competition, sponsored by Haiku Canada. His haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Cricket, RawNervz, Blithe Spirit, Still, and other journals. Peace and War is his first haiku chapbook.

Rick balances his work at TLP by gardening, reading, and spending time with his wife, Laura Ahearn, and their young daughter, Melanie.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I find writing haiku to be a meditative act that helps me maintain my balance and accept life in all its complexity, whether it be to my liking or not. I have always had a mind that registers seemingly insignificant moments, such as a woodpecker’s drilling, a firefly in the night, a geranium petal on an army boot. Crafting my own haiku has made me appreciate these moments even more by forcing me to concentrate on them and slow down.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I also enjoy writing longer, free verse poems that draw on the conciseness of haiku and the sense of haiku being, as R.H. Blyth wrote, “not a poem, not literature, but a hand beckoning, a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean (Haiku, Volume 1, p. 243).” My poetry is nourished by many writers, but a few of my favorites are Matsuo Basho, Yehuda Amichai, and Mary Oliver. I also enjoy writing senryu as well as doing sumi-e painting though I have yet to combine my poetry and sumi-e in haiga. There are just too many things to do.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you have written, what do you consider to be your top three?

    my ailing father,
listening to the crickets;
    last day of August

Winner of the British Haiku Society’s James W. Hackett Award, 1996

    walking on the beach
remembering my mother —
    picking out seashells

Honorable Mention, British Haiku Society’s James W. Hackett Award, 1997

last clouds —
if only the violence
would drift away, too

Peace and War: A Collection of Haiku from Israel, 2007, Turtle Light Press

Thanks so much, Curtis, for providing this wonderful forum for the haiku community to get to know one another a little better by sharing our thoughts and poems.


If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Rick answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Cathy Drinkwater Better will be our guest next week.

An invitation to Tobacco Road poets

Shreve Memorial Library's Electronic Poetry Network, founded in 1997, has been recently featuring a week's worth of short poems by the same poet. Carlos Colón, the EPN editor, is extending an invitation to Tobacco Road poets to send 10-15 short poems for consideration.

In addition to being featured on this web site, the poetry is displayed all day or all weekend long on an electronic message board located on the first floor of the Main (Downtown) Branch of our library. If you wish to have your poems considered for the EPN, please send them to The poems do not need to be haiku. They just need to be short and suitable for the general public. Previously published poems are acceptable.

New issue of Lynx

The new issue of Lynx is online featuring:



Mike Montreuil

Micheline Beaudry

Haiga by Billie Dee & Terry O'Connor


Gerd Börner


Claudia Brefeld

Martina Heinisch

Haiga by Wolfgang Beutke & Anne-Dore Beutke


Claudia Brefeld

Martina Heinisch


Ramona Linke

Gabriele Reinhard



Gabriele Reinhard

Claudia Brefeld


Jane Reichhold

Giselle Maya


Patricia Prime

Catherine Mair

Haiga by Shanna Baldwin and Gillena Cox


Paul Mercken

Alison Willia

Fokkina McDonnell

Paul (& Karen) Smith


Jane Reichhold

Giselle Maya


Patricia Prime

Catherine Mair


Ken Wanamaker

Kathy Earsman

Norman Darlington


Werner Reichhold

Jane Reichhold


Haiga by Alan Taylor



Steffen Horstmann


Steffen Horstmann


Steffen Horstmann


Ayat Ghanem



C W Hawes


C W Hawes


C W Hawes


translated from the German by Celia Brown

Ruth Franke


translated from the German by Celia Brown

Ruth Franke


Ruth Holzer


Ruth Holzer


Larry Kimmel


Larry Kimmel


Larry Kimmel


Patricia Prime


Patricia Prime


shirley cahayom

Haiga by Ramona Linke



Don Ammons


Michelle V. Alkerton


Michelle V. Alkerton


Michelle V. Alkerton


Nadia Ghanem


Ruth Holzer


Ed Baranosky


(Nathan’s Famous, 2001)

James Roderick Burns


Ayat Ghanem


Elizabeth Howard


Sylvia Plath


Claudia Melchior


john martone


Lorin Ford


Dick Pettit


Dick Pettit


a MS sequence

David Serjeant


Ken Wanamaker


c w hawes

Jose del Valle

Gerd Börner

Joanna M. Weston

Natasha Khrolenko


Artur Lewandowski

Violette Rose-Jones

Haiga by Alan Taylor



Presentation by Linda Galloway


Richard Pettit


Dick Pettit


Jane Reichhold



An examination of Pamela Babusci’s first collection of tanka, A Thousand Reasons

Marjorie Buettner

Contact: moongate44(at)gmail(dot)com. Pamela A. Babusci 150 Milford St. Apt. 13 Rochester, NY 14615 US Funds $14 plus $2.50 S&H ; Foreign $5 S&H.

KyôkaJapan’s Comic Verse, A MAD IN TRANS LATION Reader compiled, translated, explained and essayed by robin d. gill. Paraverse Press, 2009. Contact: Paperback, 8 x 11 inches, 734 pages (not counting the rant at the end). Includes Japanese originals, romanization, a bibliography, poet and poem indexes. Review is written from a reading copy that contained no price.

Stone Mirror, Water Mirror / Oglinda de Piatra, Oglinda de Apa by Clelia Ifrim. Perfect bound, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 54 pages, Romanian and English. Illustrated with ten drawings by the author. No price. Available from Clelia Ifrim, Calea Dorobantilor 135-145/ Ap. 5, 010563 Buchar’est, Romania

Delta Blues by Skip Fox. Ahadada Books: 2009. Perfect bound, 5.5 x 8.5,176 pages. No price; contact

Blue Night & the inadequacy of long-stemmed roses by Larry Kimmel. Second Edition with The Temperature of Love. Modern English Tanka Press,, 2009. Perfect bound, 6 x 9 inches, 124 pages, $12.95

Elvis in Black Leather by Alexis Rotella. Modern English Tanka Press:, 2009. Perfect bound, 4 x 6.5 inches, 44 pages, $9.95.

Dragonfly’s Play / Jocul Libelulei by Oprica Padeanu. Verus, Bucuresti, 2009. Romanian and English. Translated by Vasile Moldovan. Perfect bound, full color cover, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 100 pages. Contact:

slightly scented short lived words and roses by Stanley Pelter. England: George Mann Publications, 2009. Perfect bound, full-color cover, 6 x 9 inches, 132 pages, cover by Izzy Sharpe, Introduction by John Daniel. Illustrations by S. Felton.


Greetings from Luna Park by James Roderick Burns. Modern English Tanka Press,, 2008. Perfect bound, full-color cover, 5.5 x 9 inches, 100 pages, $14.95.


. . .James Tipton's latest book, All the Horses of Heaven/Todos los Caballos del Paraiso

James Tipton's Washing Dishes in the Ancient Village/Lavando platos en el pueblo antiguo

James Tipton, Proposing to the Woman in the Rear View Mirror,

A Film of Words by Jane and Werner Reichhold,

Haiku Encounters, by Salvatore Buttaci.

Concrete Seasons, A Collection of Urban Tanka, by Bob Loomis

Symbiotic Art by Werner Reichhold


Francis Masat, Peggy Lyles, David Serjeant, Larry Kimmel, Tyler Pruette, Dick Pettit, Max Verhart, Curtis Dunlap, Naia, tenzing


The Heron's Nest

IHS International Haiku Competition 2009

Moonbathing Premier Issue Tanka Contest


D. Claire Gallageher

Paul O. Williams

Gruenther Klinge

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fred & Susan Chappell reading Part Three

Fred and Susan Chappell continue reading nested poems from shadow box:

Friday updates

Great news! Carlos Colón is feeling better, back at work, and continuing to promote short poems via The Electronic Poetry Network. I received this from Carlos:

Howdy, folks. Just so, you'll know, I am feeling much better. Been back at work for a couple of weeks now. For those of you who don't know, I had fever for over a month, and the doctors could not figure out why, although they figured it was bacteria in my bad right lung. I also had a touch of pneumonia, and, of course, was really sick because the mystery illness caused me to miss HNA in Ottawa.

Continued good health to you, Carlos! So nice to hear that you're feeling better.

Merrill Gonzales sent this:

TOM PAINTING: On September 26 Tom will be presenting to Parents and Students at a Writer's Retreat Center called Gell House, Naples, NY.

On October 11 Tom will be presenting photos of his trip to India last April where he met Angelee Deodhar at Rochester Area Haiku Group.

Tom is waiting to hear from the Virgilio Haiku Association regarding a teacher's workshop he would conduct on November 14th in Camden NJ.

This just in from Deborah P Kolodji:

Naia has posted a nice write up (with photos) from our recent haiku reading and launch of the 2009 Southern California Haiku Study Group anthology, "shell gathering":

Order info for "shell gathering" and more information about the anthology (including the cover art, back cover blurbs, table of contents, introduction & editor's note) can be found here:

Saša Važić sent this:


3YEARS/3LIGHTS: An Anniversary Celebration

To celebrate three years of 3lights in January 2010 we are hosting a bumper edition of our popular open-submission exhibitions. 3years/3lights will present the best in haiku, senryu, tanka and kyoka being written in English today.

We invite you to send up to ten unpublished haiku/senryu/tanka/kyoka on any theme in the body of an email, along with a brief biography, to threelightsgallery [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk.

The deadline for submissions is December 15th 2009. The exhibition will open on January 15th 2010.

For further submission details, and for submission guidelines, please visit

Best wishes,
Liam Wilkinson
Editor, 3lights gallery

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fred & Susan Chappell reading Part Two

Fred and Susan Chappell continue reading nested poems from shadow box:

Haiku Chronicles: Episode 5 - History of American Haiku Part II, The Beat Poets

This just in from Donna Beaver:

Hosts Donna Beaver, Al Pizzarelli and guest Cor van den Heuvel continue a discussion of the history of American haiku from the mid-50's and the Beat Poets. This episode also features Allen Ginsberg from his lectures on haiku poetry at Naropa University.

Coming Soon!

Episode 6: History of American Haiku Part III - The Haiku Anthology, with guest Cor van den Heuvel, featuring vintage recordings of Nick Virgilio, Virginia Brady Young and other poets and poems from the Anthology.

Coming in October:

In celebration of the World Series, tune-in to Episode 7: Baseball Haiku, with guest Cor van den Heuvel, Ed Markowski and others reading haiku and senryu from the Baseball Haiku anthology.

Haiku Chronicles - Catch it!

Many thanks for all your support.

Your hosts,
Donna Beaver & Al Pizzarelli

The Winter Moon Awards for Haiku 2009

In hand December 1, 2009

Prizes: First Prize: $100; Second Prize: $50; Third Prize: $25; Zen Award (if warranted): $25. Honorable Mentions. Winners living outside the US will receive subscriptions to haiku journals in place of cash prizes.

Eligibility: Open to everyone.

Entry Fee: None

Rules: All haiku must be the entrant’s original, unpublished work, and not under consideration by any publication or other contest.

Submissions: Up to 10 haiku in English, typed (or printed legibly) on one sheet of 8 ½ x 11 paper. Submit 2 copies. Provide name, address and pen name, if you use one, in upper left corner of one copy only.

Correspondence: Send 10 (4 c x 9 ½) SASE (outside US, SAE and 1 IRC) for notification of results. No entries will be returned.

Mail entries to: Carolyn Thomas, 7866 Hogan Circle, Hemet, CA 92545 USA

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fred & Susan Chappell reading Part One

I had the pleasure of recording a unique and splendid poetry reading last Saturday. Former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Fred Chappell, and his lovely wife Susan read a number of nested or embedded poems (a poem within a poem) from shadow box, Mr. Chappell's new book.

Kathryn Stripling Byer, another Poet Laureate of North Carolina, has a blog post and an excellent example of a nested poem on her My Laureate's Lasso blog.

I will post Part Two of this wonderful series within the next few days.

Poetry reading: Frank Robinson & Tom Clausen

A poetry reading that Tom Clausen and Frank Robinson participated in last April is available online in audio and visual format. Click the image below to view or listen to the reading:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Michael L. Evans - Three Questions

Michael L. EvansMichael L. Evans has been writing haiku since 1990, although he did not make his first publication submissions until 1997. His haiku have been published and/or received contest recognition in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, Japan, Sweden, and Romania. His haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, Hermitage, paper wasp, persimmon, RAW NerVZ, moonset, red moon anthology 2000 & 2002, 8th Mainichi Haiku Contest, the Basho 360th Anniversary Contest, and others.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I wrote poetry in High School- the usual depressing teen-age angst stuff. I then gave up writing for 30 years. In 1990, I decided to try poetry again. Knowing that my former attempts were verbose, I remembered a couple of Kerouac’s haiku from his novels I had read in the 60s, and decided to try them myself. I soon found myself addicted to them.

So, in the beginning, it was to restrain myself from again being verbose; later it was for the AHA moments that I realized through them- those sudden bursts of insight into universal connections. These days I very seldom sit down to write a haiku, being more involved in other forms – still, there are those times when a haiku presents itself, as a complete surprise, and I am always glad to have those moments.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

For enjoyment, I read a variety of poets, in an ever expanding list: Langston Hughes, Lorca, Akhmatova, Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Paz, Borges, Neruda, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, W.S. Merwin, Sandburg, Frost, Richard Brautigan, Pushkin, Yevtushenko, and Voznesensky – plus many of the Romantics. As for writing: these days, while I still write haiku, I write more American Cinquains, and tanka, with some rhymed and free verse.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you’ve written, which do you consider to be your top three?

My opinion of which are my best is constantly changing. Sometimes, they are those that received contest recognition – sometimes, those that never found a publisher – sometimes, those that are very personal. At this moment they would be:

garden pond
a koi nibbles
at spring rain

Heron’s Nest – Vol. V: # 7 – July, 2003.

dandelion wind
a thousand wishes
cross the sky

moonset – journal 2, issue 1, spring 2006.

snow moon
the blue shadow
of a bare birch

Heron’s Nest – Vol. 10, 2008: Summer issue.

I look forward to seeing many more fine poets & haiku in Tobacco Road.

Michael L. Evans

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Michael answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Rick Black will be our guest next week.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Readings, Meetings, Contest, and Publication News

This just in from Patrick Pilarski:

Submission are now open for DailyHaiku Cycle 8!

DailyHaiku is a print and daily online serial publication that publishes the work of Canadian and international haiku poets, blending contemporary, experimental, and traditional styles to explore the boundaries of English-language haiku. Through our special features section, we also aim to chronicle the diverse and ever-changing landscape of contemporary haiku-related forms. We're now looking for a new roster of six talented haiku poets for our upcoming cycle (Volume 4, Cycle 8, Fall 2009/Winter 2010). If selected as a contributor, you will be responsible for providing a total of 28 haiku over a six-month period.

Submission Period: Sept. 1st--30th, 2009 (closes 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time)

How to Submit: Email submissions to

What to Submit: Ten unpublished haiku---no more, no less---your contact information, a 75 word publication-ready biographical note, and a digital author photo. We do not accept work published or under consideration by other journals or websites.

Payment: One contributor copy of the print volume featuring your work.

For specific submission guidelines and more information about this publication, please visit:

Heron Sea, Short Poems of the Chesapeake Bay
, the first collection by well-known tanka poet and editor, M. Kei, is now available as a free e-book. Published in electronic form through, it is made available under the Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Well-received when first published as a trade paperback in 2007, it contains a number of his well-known tanka, including:

the dawn puddles
around my house;
I rise
to sail the moon
in a paper boat

shaking the bats
out of the mainsail
a cloud of night
made homeless
by my hands

if only the leaves
were not so green,
this lover’s heart
might enjoy
a little emptiness

To view the work online, visit <>

To purchase the book online, visit <>

To interview the author, contact kujaku (at) verizon (dot) net.

Carolyn Thomas sent the following contest results:

The Saigyo Awards for Tanka 2009

First Prize $100

wrapping herself
in a dragon kimono
her spirit
flies off like a kite
with an eternal string

Pamela A. Babusci, New York

Second Prize $50

weeping cherry
blossom threaded hair
brushes the earth…
this longing
to bear fruit

Margaret L Grace, Australia

Third Prize $25

the final crane
consigned to my waste-paper bin
offers up a rose
so I pluck it
…and the rose flies away

Helen Buckingham, UK

Unique, skillfully composed imagery causes me to choose the Babusci, Grace, and Buckingham poems. I experience these living moments with each re-reading. Extraordinary tanka, they set themselves apart by exquisite language that appears natural. Unable to adequately define everything I see in these poems, I bow in silent surrender and leave them, along with each Honorable Mention tanka, to the reader to enjoy.

Honorable Mention

what’s the name
of that bird singing
in the woods?
I give up
and just listen

Dave Bacharach, New York

early morning
in my courtyard
a crow caws
I expect a guest
or a letter today

Radhey Shiam, India

now scientists say
the human heart can grow
new cells…
I could have told them this
many love affairs ago

Kirsty Karkow, Maine

from the interview suit
to blue jeans
and a smile that doesn’t
need to hide anything

Carol Purington, Massachusetts

how slowly the rain falls
now that you’re gone
I’ve been wrong
about so many things
it could be snow

Peter Yovu, Vermont

The old wounds still here
waiting for me to cure them
before the winter —
gnarled fingers touching the tree
where once I carved your name

Eduard Tara, Romania

casting no glances
at me
Time is a hectic traveller —
I’ve greyed
inside out

Chen-ou Liu, Canada

I pick one stone
from the creek bed
to take home
it was like any other
until I touched it

Dave Bacharach, New York

more than the lift
of one sip of champagne
to a young boy’s head
it was the theft itself
that tasted like stars

Peter Yovu, Vermont

you left
for good, you came back again
despite everything
the season
already turned

Ruth Holzer, Virginia

my overweight cat
snores like a bulldozer…
what was just another poem
about the moon

Kathy Lippard Cobb, Florida

Melville —
not the great white whale
but your restless heart
I’ll take with me and
bury in the sea

M. Kei, Maryland

to red ants
at the picnic…
I rise up with a poem
crawling out

Darrell Lindsey, Texas

clothes billow
by the side of the shed…
rolling up
each cuff of my jeans,
this sudden urge to dance

Michele L. Harvey, New York

A bow of gratitude to all poets who participated in this second Saigyo Awards for Tanka contest, and congratulations to the authors of the winning poems chosen from 241 entries.

Peace and joy,
Carolyn Thomas

Renee Owen sent the following information:

The Haiku Poets of Northern California's


will be held on Sunday, September 13th, 2009

from 1 to 5 PM in Building C, Room 235 at Fort Mason in San Francisco

This year's readers are

Garry Gay

David Grayson

Carolyn Hall

Michael Dylan Welch

The Two Autumns Reading is the longest-running haiku reading series in North America. This 20th anniversary is an event not to be missed! The celebrated reading is accompanied by the release of a chapbook of poems of the poets who are reading at this event -- a must for collectors of haiku books. For more information about this event, their upcoming October event, or HPNC and its haiku journal, Mariposa, visit their web site at

Carmen Sterba
sent the following link/information: Haiku International Association (HIA) calls for Haiku for International Symposium of the 20th Anniversay of HIA and the Haiku Contest.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Poet pics and a reading list

Dave Russo snapped a few pictures of the recent North Carolina Haiku Society monthly meeting. Click the image below to see all of the photos:

NCHS meeting

The Montserrat Review selected five Modern English Tanka Press (MET Press) publications for their 2009 Best Reading of Fall list. Books chosen by review editor Grace Cavalieri include:

Atlas Poetica NUM. 3 edited by M. Kei © 2009 Modern English Tank Press, 73 pp. ISSN: 1939-6465.

Blue Night & The Inadequacy of Long-Stemmed Roses by Larry Kimmel © 2009 Modern English Tanka Press, 124 pp. ISBN: 978-193539802-8.

Streetlights edited by Michael McClintock and Denis M. Garrison © 2009 Modern English Tanka Press, 255 pp. ISBN: 978-193539804-2.

Take Five Best Contemporary Tanka edited by M. Kei © 2009 Modern English Tanka Press, 235 pp. ISBN: 978-193539808-0.

Tanka from the Edge by Miriam Sagan © 2009 Modern English Tanka Press, 113 pp. ISBN: 978-098176919-6.

The complete list is available on this page.

Congratulations authors and editors of MET Press!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

James Tipton reading

Pamela A. Babusci sent this YouTube link of James Tipton reading a few of his poems.

Check out the James Tipton page at MET Press.