Now, that being said, I felt that my readers should have someone to read about today. :)
Curtis Dunlap lives near the confluence of the Mayo and Dan rivers in Mayodan, North Carolina. He works in Information Technology at a local community college. He enjoys reading and writing poetry and has been published in a variety of journals. He was awarded 3rd Prize in the 11th International Kusamakura Haiku Competition in 2006 and the Museum of Haiku Literature Award in 2008.
1) Why do you write haiku?
To preserve, share, and savor snapshot moments that are as fleeting as the small poems used to convey the experience to the reader. Time goes by at an incredible pace, especially now that I've passed the half century mark. To me, writing haiku is akin to taking the finger off of life's fast forward button, slowing the pace down, and revisiting events that struck a chord with my artistic soul.
In looking back over this series, I find many of the reasons I write haiku in Richard Straw's list. Perhaps we all write haiku for some or all of those reasons.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
I've written haibun, rengay (of course, with a partner), senryu, and tanka. I enjoy writing free verse and have had a few poems published.
In recent months I've enjoyed reading free verse or listening to longer poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, Charles Bukowski, Dave Etter, Sam Ragan, Aurora Antonovic, Alexis Rotella, Lenard D. Moore, Penny Harter, Pris Campbell, Albert Huffstickler, Helen Losse, Scott Owens, Ted Kooser to name a few. In an email to my good friend Warren Gossett, I said:
"I dislike poetry that I don't understand. Poetry shouldn't give the reader a brain cramp figuring out what the poet is saying or trying to convey. I want poetry to whack me a good one in my heart and soul. I have enough technical stuff to read and keep up with to cramp my brain."
That pretty much sums up the type of poetry I enjoy, in all forms.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
Dang, Mr. Dunlap! What kind of question is that? They (poems) are like children, you love them all, even the red-headed step child! No, I won't dodge the question, especially since 88 participants in this series have been kind enough to answer what I'd consider is your toughest question. Comparatively speaking, if haiku were a singing trio and I had to pick three that best harmonize, who I am, where I came from, these poems would stand out:
the auctioneer pauses
to catch his breath
Chasing the Sun: selected haiku from Haiku North America 2007
a rusty still
by the dry creek bed –
blood moon rising
The Heron's Nest X:1 - 3, 2008
Appalachian wedding –
the fiddle player
slides into a love song
Frogpond Volume XXVIII:3 (Nov. 2005)
Ask tomorrow and the three will undoubtedly be different.
[Photo by Kristi Merritt]
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 Curtis answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.