Sunday, April 26, 2009

Three Questions - Allan Burns

Allan Burns
Allan Burns is a book editor and has been publishing haiku since 2005. His works have appeared in Acorn, Frogpond, The Heron's Nest, Modern Haiku, Presence, Roadrunner, Wisteria, and elsewhere. He edits a weekly comparative haiku gallery titled Montage, which currently appears on the Red Moon Press website but will eventually be incorporated into the website for The Haiku Foundation. A selection of Allan's work will appear in the next New Resonance anthology. He lives on the west side of Colorado Springs with his wife Theresa.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Haiku is the point where my principal interests--nature, art, and Buddhism--meet. This present moment is the reality of our experience of the world, and haiku allows one to capture and convey the essence of compelling moments in a way no other form of writing can. Haiku, thus, emerges from the deepest reality of one's transient existence, unmediated by the artifice of, say, plot or other types of conventional literary structures.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

It might be a pedantic distinction, but I would call haiku a genre rather than a form. I also write rengay and other collaborative poems with Ron Moss of Tasmania. Ron and I are currently writing a winter kasen with Christopher Herold--who is a great mentor and who stresses the communal and process-oriented nature of this type of "word sculpture" over the final product. I earned a PhD in English literature, so I have a lot of background in and respect for other literary genres. One lyric poet whose work has remained very close to me through the years is the British poet Edward Thomas, who was killed in WWI.

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

At this moment:

coyote choir
we wake beneath
next season's stars

Roadrunner 7.3, 2007

climbing in shadow —
the canyon rim
brightly lit

The Heron's Nest 9.1, 2007

the slow degrees
of dusk

Acorn 21, 2008

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 Allan answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Natalia L. Rudychev will be our guest next week.


Unknown said...

dear Allan,

Chritopher Herold is a wonderful man, actually, he suggested that Rick [turk] Tarquinio, Joann Klontz
and myself start a writers groups in southern NJ., which Barry George
of Philadelphia was willing to opt-in. Unfortuneitly, I am in Ohio now...

Ron Moss is wonderful, and a very
good partner when it comes to a

Within the past three years or so, I have followed several poets, at
THN and your name tops the list.


h. gene murtha
ps: I love it, the word verification is "elite" see you in NR6

Unknown said...


Thanks so much for the generous comments. So true about Christopher & Ron.

Always love seeing your stuff in the journals & soon in NR6. Congrats on that.

We clearly share a passion for birds.

Whatever happened to Rick Tarquinio? Haven't seen his stuff in the journals for a bit. Great haiku poet:

weathered bridge
everything but the moon
drifting downstream

Hope I've got that right. From THN a few yrs back.

Best to you,