Sunday, August 24, 2008

Matthew Paul - Three Questions

Matthew Paul has contributed haiku to journals in the United Kingdom and the United States for seventeen years, and many of these appear in his collection The Regulars (Snapshot Press, 2008). He is the reviews editor for Presence haiku magazine, has a poetry blog at and lives and works in London. His latest book, Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, written and compiled with John Barlow, is available from

1. Why do you write haiku?

Because it's essential! I first encountered haiku at school, around 1982, and I came across some key haiku books, including Henderson's, when I was at university, so when the British Haiku Society started up in 1990, my interest soon became much more than a habit. Writing haiku is, to me, as natural as any other urge and I rarely go more than a day or two without coming up with at least a proto-haiku.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I enjoy reading most forms of poetry, although long lyrical poetry tends to bore me rigid. I write the occasional tanka and longer poems too, some of which I post at:

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

As all your other respondents seem to have said, it's hard to pick out the 'best', but these are three of my favourites. The first is from the Blue Ridge Mountains after last year's Haiku North America conference.

evening heat
the unseen sapsucker
drums five times

Simply Haiku

crows muster
at the edge of the marsh
a patch of celandines

Blithe Spirit

the bistro chef
smoking out the back
misty rain


All the best,

Matthew (Paul)

A couple of readers of this blog have suggested that Haiku - Three Questions be made into a book. Perhaps, someday, after contributor responses no longer drop into my inbox, I'll seek a publisher.

Which reminds me, if you haven't already participated in this little project, please consider doing so. Also, tell your friends about this blog. You can email me directly or use this online form to send your thoughts/answers to Haiku - Three Questions.

Dave Russo will be our guest next week.

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