Sunday, September 14, 2008

Merrill Ann Gonzales - Three Questions

Merrill Ann Gonzales is our Haiku - Three Questions guest this week. She writes:

"My parents met in Grand Central Art School and Art Student's League studying under Arshele Gorky. My great grandmother taught art in Maine and I was married to the fine artist the late John L. Gonzales. I've worked in oil, watercolor, pen and ink, sumie, and have contributed drawings and cover designs for poetry magazines for more years than I care to remember (although I love remembering the editors!). I've published poetry, haiku, tanka, haiga and I've explored tanga. I created snowbird press on groundhog day in the snowy year of 2004/5.

"As you can see, art and poetry have almost been like breathing and waking and sleeping to me. It isn't something I do, it's something I exist in. It's my way of being part of the human race...where people are truly human."

1. Why do you write haiku?

I can't really say I write haiku, sometimes I think the haiku writes me. A haiku comes up from the deep as I'm doing other things and tells me something. Many times it will come while I'm drawing or painting and will enlighten the experience I'm trying to capture.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Haiga and tanga are extremely gratifying to me. It's as if my whole being, emotional and physical, is joined as the two (the verse and the drawing) come together. I also write tanka. When I was a child I learned so much from ancient Chinese drawings and the mystery they revealed. I think Ikkoku Santo helped to explore some of those mysteries with new light.

I've had a renku and a renga published in the past, but the artistry of the poets I was working with, Alan Summers and John Stevenson, deserve all the credit for their merits. It was an extreme honor to have written with such accomplished poets. And I have also written western poetry in free verse which has been published over the years.

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

ocean breezes —
an awareness comes
in a thousand voices

originally published in REEDS: Contemporary Haiga 2005

new moon —
the path emerges
from darkness

originally published in HSA 2007 MEMBERS' ANTHOLOGY

stone in my pocket —
the brook cuts deeper
into the mountain

originally published as 2006 Harold G. Henderson Award Honorable Mention

These three haiku were seminal in my life with profound implications for my comprehension of the world I live in.

I would be most honored to be included with so many of the haiku poets who have given me so much throughout the years. As I look down the list of poets I see friend after friend. A spirit of unity that binds and enriches us. Thanks for a new way to join in the spirit of haiku.

In the river flow...I remain...yours, Merrill Ann Gonzales

Lynne Rees shares her response to three questions with us next week.

1 comment:

Area 17 said...

Merrill is being too modest. ;-)

As the late great Ikkoku Santo has been mentioned, I'd like to say what a pleasure and an honour it was, to be involved with his Azami haikai magazine; and to see Merrill's artwork being displayed on a regular basis.

Merrill and myself did a renga together which we called 'the unfinished renga' but was deemed good enough to appear in an early Redmoon anthology. Thanks Merrill! ;-)

all my best,