Andrew Riutta was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For twenty years, he has lived in the Grand Traverse Region. He is the recipient of the 2008 William J. Shaw Memorial Prize for Poetry, and in 2006 he won "honorable mention" in the Michigan Liberal Arts poetry contest. This past spring, his first full-length poetry collection, Cigarette Butts and Lilacs, was published by Modern English Tanka Press. He and his daughter, Issabella, enjoy walking in cemeteries and eating pancakes.
1. Why do you write haiku?
Because, sometimes, the most effective way to say more is to say less. Ultimately, words lock moods, images and concepts into little boxes. And so, the fewer the words, the less confined those things will be. This ambiguity is both primitive and futuristic.
2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
Tanka, free verse, ghazals, fiction and creative non-fiction.
3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)
Tough thing to nail down. Signature poems can be deceiving. What might be deemed my "best" may not be my favorites. But, I suppose, there are some that dip into both realms:
my grandfather snaps
the carpenter's tool belt
full of plums
Roadrunner, 2006; Red Moon Anthology, 2006; Reeds, 2007.
in my coat pocket
through births and deaths
the same empty matchbook
A New Resonance 5, 2007
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Andrew Riutta answered. You must be a published poet to participate.
Susan Delphine Delaney will be our guest poet next week.