Angelika Wienert lives with her family in Oberhausen (North Rhine Westfalia, Germany), a former coal mining region with a high unemployment rate. She has been writing haiku since 2002. She loves to work in her Japanese garden and likes "walking meditation" (because she says that she can't sit with her legs crossed). She lives a secluded life but occasionally journeys abroad (other European countries, U.S.A., Japan).
1. Why do you write haiku?
Haiku for me is the taste of a moment. We breathe; we don't think about it. Breathing is normal for us and in much the same way haiku became normal for me, too. Haiku is part of my life now. Santôka Taneda said: "Real haiku is the soul of poetry ..." I read his words and thought: "Yeah!" We share with our readers a special moment, we share feelings; this concept has never lost its fascination on me.
2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
I love renku and have experience with kasen and triparshva (sabaki Gerd Börner, John Carley, Norman Darlington). For several years I've written haibun in German; this year I started writing haibun in English. Rengay, haiku-sequences, tan-renga...it's a joy for me to write about my experiences in these forms. I also think that haiku poets need a background in haiku, so I translated (with the kind help of an editorial team) George Swede's brilliant essay Haiku in English in North America into German. I've interviewed David G. Lanoue (Issa archive), written a short essay about Sugita Hisajo, and published a feature about Kala Ramesh (India) etc. (the mentioned work was published at Haiku heute, a German haiku-magazine).
3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your to top three?
First page —
a man's empty hands
(Asahi Haikuist Network, January 13, 2004)
a swan drinks
(The Mainichi Daily News, monthly selection, December 2005)
cherry blossoms —
i wear my silk scarf
(Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2006. Top 30 Haiku)
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Charlotte Digregorio will be our guest poet next week.