Saturday, October 31, 2009

1000 Verse Renga, a Halloween haiga, and zombie haiku

Alan Summers
The 1000 Verse Renga

Alan Summers, of With Words, in Partnership with Bath Libraries (U.K.) has been encouraging a local and global 1000 Verse Renga (senku) where local library users and staff and international haiku poets have been contributing verses during October.

The senku is 800+ verses strong at the moment, with some of the earliest contributions from Michael Dylan Welch, whose autumn hokku so inspired one school they wrote two shisan renku!

The latest contributions have been from the New York State area and Alaska, and from several U.S. librarians, one of whom you may know from Mann Library, thanks Tom!

As 1000 verses need to be reached by 7th November (midnight all time zones) we would love to receive more verses.

As verses pour in from numerous means all the time some verses cannot be linked immediately but will be linked in the final edit, so please do send a renga verse to:

BBC 1000 Verse Renga article:

Alan's Area 17 blog:

With Words:

The final version of the 1000 Verse Renga will be a free eBook on With Words, hopefully before Christmas.

Collin Barber sent this very fine seasonal haiga:

The following video appears to be a parody of the Kerouac readings posted here last year. In the spirit of Halloween fun and really, REALLY, bad 5-7-5 haiku, we have Zombie Haiku:

Have a safe zombie-free Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Seabeck report & Poetea IV, part 2 video

This just in from Deborah P Kolodji:


I've finished reporting about the Seabeck Haiku Getaway on my blog.

The links are:

Friday -

Saturday -

Sunday -

All my photos are here:

And I have a bonus entry inspired by one of the late-night anonymous haiku workshops, where we did, indeed, spend quite a lot of time discussing heron sounds.

Hope you enjoy!

Dave Russo, Bob Moyer, and Stan Siceloff read poems from the recent Poetea reading in Winston-Salem:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Poets and Poems - Albert Huffstickler

Cafe Poem

That little old lady has a purpose.
She's a cartographer completing the map of her life.
It's there on her face,
as contained, as exact as the will that lies
deep in that small, sunken breast.
She looks around her, laughs.
Another line forms,
another move toward the completion she already envisions.
There's nothing more for us here.
Let's leave her to her work.

-- Albert Huffstickler

Lilliput Review
- Issue #32

Photo courtesy of Mark Christal

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recommended reading list and haiku videos

Here are a few books that I've had the privilege of reading in recent weeks.

While The Light Holds and One Hundred Droplets, are anthologies one and two in a new series from the folks who bring us the excellent journal Magnapoets. These books are affordable and very beautiful, with poems from many of the leading haiku and tanka poets in the world today. Here's a sampling:

one son dead,
the other shipped
to Afghanistan—
my sister's
long winter

--M. Kei

autumn morning
I still have the tooth
I lost in my dream

--Collin Barber

I weigh
the options—

--Peggy Willis Lyles

green tea
red plums and oranges
on blue china
even at breakfast time
this man colors my life

--Kirsty Karkow

Haiku Wars by poet David Lanoue, published by Red Moon Press, is a highly entertaining romp through the world of haiku, modern and past, through the eyes of a ferret named Oscar. I found myself smiling and, yes, laughing while reading Haiku Wars. Lanoue masterfully blends fiction and factual haiku history. I could not put the book down, reading it in one sitting; it's that good. :)

an orange balloon penis
some clown
left it

The Onawa Poems 1999-2008 edited by Paul W. MacNeil is a superb collection of poems from poets who have visited MacNeil at his summer home located by the shores of Lake Onawa. Poets in this volume are as follows: Yu Chang, Ferris Gilli, Gary Hotham, Kirsty Karkow, Paul MacNeil, Paul David Mena, paul m., John Stevenson, Hilary Tann, and Paul Watsky.

after the hokku
we begin
our journey

--Hillary Tann

in a lakeside breeze
my beer bottle

--Paul David Mena

summit-poem written
a web I missed
on the way up

--paul m.

Onawa sunset
a few yellow leaves
quiver on the poplar

--Yu Chang

Ksana, by John Martone, is another offering from Red Moon Press. Martone is a master haijin whose sharp eye for detail has produced an excellent volume of haiku. His arrangement or structure of each haiku in the book enables the reader to pause and savor each poem more deeply. This is a book that will be read on more than one occasion. A keeper!

leaf dancing
a little dance
in the road
just one






I'll post another reading list next week.

And finally, Dietmar Tauchner sent the following link with several video readings from the WHA haiku gathering in Lithuania this month:


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peter Newton - Three Questions (Tanka)

As of this posting, Peter Newton is our first poet to answer our three questions in both the haiku and the tanka categories. Peter is a poet and stained glass artist living in Winchendon, Massachusetts. Born in Detroit and raised north of Boston, he is a graduate of The University of Michigan and The Bread Loaf School of English/Middlebury College where he has worked for the past seventeen summers. Poems of his have appeared in Atlanta Review, The Adirondack Review, Prairie Schooner, Modern Haiku and Modern English Tanka, among others.

1) Why do you write tanka?

To connect more with the world, a bird, a person.

I was advised once, by a fortune cookie: “Find the gentlest way to make your intentions known.” That was a long time ago, long before I ever heard of tanka. But the form seems to fit the phrase. Now, it makes sense.

Poetry, in general, has provided me with the vehicle to reach out to people. In so doing I am honoring a true part of myself. It is the talk between strangers. An exercise in compassion. Writing tanka is one way to communicate. Each poem is the jottings of a fellow traveler in the logbook of a remote outpost. The poem is an entry-- This is where I am. This is where I'm headed. And as Frost would say; "You come too."

Tanka is also, for me, a gentle arc. A roof over my head, where the rain can fall. That's part of my role as a poet. To make a place for the rain, allow room in my life to listen to the rain. And listening can be a ritual. Spiritual. Writing feeds that animal need.

I write poetry in general and tanka specifically because I am drawn to the human condition. I'm one of those people who gets lost in a good nature program about some near-extinct species of lizard. I believe everything the calm and stately-voiced narrator says. The parallels between man and lizard are unmistakable, at times. There is so much to learn, near and far.

I was an early fan of Emily Dickinson and e.e.cummings. I appreciate them both for their brevity, reverence and humor. In college, I remember reading Dickinson, the first line of one of her poems, in which she wrote: "I'm nobody. Who are you?" I suppose I've been answering Emily ever since.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Haiku, haibun, free-verse, prose poems, one-liners. I carry a pen like a habit. What I need it for, I can't say exactly,

3) What do you consider the top three tanka you've written?

I'm no judge, so here's a variety I like:

my father asleep
in his Lay-Z-Boy
growing more and more Zen-like
his open palms
accepting everything

(Take Five: The Best Contemporary Tanka of 2008)

the vet I talk to
who never should have survived—
who is more sorry?
he, with all that he has lost
me, with nothing to die for

(Modern English Tanka, Spring 2008)

neither painter nor critic
my still life's a dud
apples in sunlight
looks more like a bowl of hearts
each with its own fuse

(Modern English Tanka. Spring 2009)

Many thanks for this website.
May the road be long.
Best, --Peter

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Part 1 of Poetea IV

Poetea IV was a huge success. We had a very pleasant and attentive crowd who seemed to appreciate and enjoy our poems. For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is Part 1 of today's Poetea reading:

moonset, haiku contest results, tanka, & tea

an'ya reports that moonset is in the mail. They were mailed First Class Postage but even at that rate it could still take three to ten days to reach places even in the USA. If you do not receive your issue within a three week period, contact an'ya at moonset.

The results of the Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi 2009 Haiku Contest are available on this page. Congratulations to Roberta Beary (1st place), Deborah P Kolodji (2nd place), and Jerry Ball (3rd place).

Note: You may have to use the + sign located on the right side of the page to zoom into the document.

I'm finding several literary jewels at Modern English Tanka Press has released the Ash Moon Anthology: Poems on Aging in Modern English Tanka. I've just started reading the collection this morning but, with Alexis Rotella and Denis M. Garrison as editors, I'm certain this will be an excellent book of poems.

For your reading pleasure, I've embedded the anthology here. Enjoy!
Ash Moon Anthology Poems on Aging, Ed by Rotella and Garrison

And finally, I'll be in Winston-Salem today with members of the North Carolina Haiku Society at the Poetea reading announced last week. Please drop by if you're in the neighborhood. We would enjoy seeing you there.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poets and Poems - Ed Baker


the painting is
the paint does

to know
gives into the
it is not so

easy to let go
of the so of it's
pre disposition

that is any
test nor meant to

be careful w proposition
s to use anything throw
any phrase remembered

thing is not the color do
ing the dropping of
nor any away demands her


but what is done did I say
or mean or do what besides
more is than that a lot of things?

That I thought
that I thought
that I thought

that I was do
ing what was never
done was never said

adequately or done through
voodoo system other wise
religion insists on tech

nique defined and sign my
name useless use
less paint and useless







                   Ed Baker

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seabeck Haiku Getaway Reading

What a wonderful treat to find on a Monday morning! Dejah Leger filmed several poets reading their poems at the recent Seabeck Haiku Getaway. Enjoy!

Helen Losse reading at Wake Forest University

Helen Losse reading from Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 7:30 pm – Winston-Salem, NC
Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Room 204, Wake Forest University

Helen Losse, who will read poems from her new book Better With Friends, is a Wake Forest alumna who earned the MALS degree in 2000. While at Wake Forest, studying mostly African American history, she also studied poetry with Jane Mead and fiction writing with Julie Edelson. Helen has two chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces, available from FootHills Publishing and Paper Snowflakes, from Southern Hum Press, prior to her full length collection, published in 2009 by Rank Stranger Press.

Helen’s poems have been published in a number of print and web journals and anthologies, including In the Arms of Words: Poems For Disaster Relief and Washing the Color of Water Golden: A Hurricane Katrina Anthology. Four of Losse’s poems were selected by former NC Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer to be included with the works of two other poets, Becky Gould Gibson and Isabel Zuber, in August 21-27, 2006: A Bouquet of Poems by Winston-Salem Poets on the website of the North Carolina Arts Council. Her poem, “Four Snapshots of the Sea-Going Boats,” won 1st place in the 2009 Davidson County Writers’ Guild Adult Writing Contest.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carolyn Thomas - Three Questions

Carolyn Thomas has won a number of awards over the years for individual haiku and tanka. Her collection puddle on the inkstone took first prize in the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards 2004. Currently she sponsors and judges The Saigyo Awards for Tanka Contest and The Winter Moon Awards for Haiku Contest.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Whoever said "less is more; more is just more" could have been describing haiku. Because of its brevity the truest haiku can hit center and resound like the gong of a temple bell. One of my first experiences with this form was a translation of the work of an early Japanese haiku master, I don't remember which poet or the haiku. I found the poem in a bookstore. One three-line, simply worded, one-breath poem surrounded by a full page of white space took me beyond itself, and myself, into the present. I experienced a moment of enlightenment. The "ah-ha" experience. It left me speechless, awestruck. Its transparent language held nothing back. It didn't draw attention to itself, so that I fully experienced the profundity of the moment it expressed. The haiku was so simply worded that I felt I could write one too. I wanted to give someone else that same experience of spiritual awakening, a recognition of myself and the moment being one thing, through a haiku of my own.

After years of practice I realized that if you're fortunate to write one true haiku you don't need to write another because that one represents all moments. All haiku are a variation of the One Thing. I don't feel that with any other form of poetry.

It's because of its spiritual quality that I write (or attempt to write) haiku, although, at present, the haiku well is gone dry and I'm not sure when, or if, it will fill again. This leads me to suggest another quality of this unique form of art: when you don't write it, you become it. You are your own haiku, walking, sitting, talking, breathing, gesturing, just being. Writing becomes extra. What more is there than that?

2) What other poetry forms do you enjoy?

I like short free-verse and poetic prose written in the simplest language possible. William Carlos Williams is probably my favorite poet. But I also like Robert Frost. I enjoy tanka; the poet is more revealed than in haiku and I find it easier to write. I'm allowed more space.

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

I wrote my favorite haiku/senryu in 1981, while still a novice and fresh. It came to me as a flash of enlightenment; it wrote itself. I had just been introduced to Zen, and this was my Zen moment: the sound of the spoon hitting the glass bowl magnified in the morning light. Although a young mother in perfect health, I decided then and there it would be my death poem, after the tradition of Zen monks and haiku poets on their deathbeds. Now that it's written I don't have to write another to sum up my life. And of all my haiku written since that moment there has not been one that I like better to fill that role.

the rice bowl

Frogpond Vol. V: No. 3, 1982

Two others of my best work:

and now she is gone
the old woman who took us

First Prize The Kiyoshi Tokutomi Memorial Contest 1999


Frogpond Vol. XXIII: No. 2, 2000
Museum of Haiku Literature Award

Thanks Curtis.
Peace and joy,
Carolyn Thomas

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Modern Haiku, Asahi Haikuist Network, & Poetea

Charlie Trumbull reports that the mailing of the autumn issue of Modern Haiku was completed earlier this week. This is the largest MH yet—156 pages—and includes features on the love haiku of Raymond Roseliep (Randy Brooks) and the senryu of Tsuru Akira (Richard Minear) and an essay-review by Scott Metz of The Haiku Universe for the 21st Century, plus the usual offerings of hundreds of haiku, senryu, haibun, haiga, etc. Sample work will be on the MH Web site very soon: <>. Single copies are still $11.00 postpaid in the US. Inquire at <>.

Charlie Smith reports that a new issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network is online.

Another Poetea reading will occur exactly one week from today. This from Dave Russo and Bob Moyer:

Poetea: A Taste of Poetry and Tea

1:00--2:00 P.M.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Golden flower T'ai Chi Center
612 N. Trade St.
Winston Salem, NC

Come spend a pleasant hour sampling the superb teas available from the Golden Flower Center's Bubbling Well, as well as the exquisite haiku verse of poets from the NC Haiku Society. The reading will be a book launch party for CHASING THE SUN, a collection of haiku written in and about Winston Salem. Published by the NC Haiku Society and edited by Bob Moyer, the book features poems by poets from across America. In this fourth POETEA. poetry and tea will flow back and forth for a refreshing afternoon. And it's FREE.

A few videos of previous readings are available on this page.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Publications, contest results and readings

This just in from Dietmar Tauchner:

Dear Haiku-Friends;

The international haiku e-zine Chrysanthemum 6 is now online and ready to be viewed at:

beste Grüße/best wishes,

Dietmar Tauchner

The Poetry Council of North Carolina held its annual Poetry Day at Catawba College on October 10th. A complete list of award winners is available in this pdf document. You'll find Lenard D. Moore and his book of poems, A Temple Looming, listed in the Oscar Arnold Young Contest for book category.

Congratulations to all award recipients!

Many of you have already seen the recent Haiku Elvis video, but what about the other poets who shared the stage with King 'Ku? Thanks to Julia Foley's video recording, we can enjoy an extended viewing of the reading. Appearing in this order are Nan Dozier, Shirley Campbell, Laura Flett, Carlos Colon aka Haiku Elvis (same reading, shot from a different angle), and Poetic X. What better way to end the work week than with an entertaining reading from a group of Louisiana poets.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poets and Poems - Alexis Rotella

Alexis Rotella's place to write


A vein of scarlet mud
runs over the hills.
I scoop some clay
work my fingers in and out
roll it punch it
until a woman ancient and wise
slips out and says
wait a year
then sell me.

Terry Ann Carter "poems" a person

Last week was Random Act of Poetry Week in Canada. Read about the event in this news article, then watch the video of Terry Ann Carter "poeming" someone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jörgen Johansson - Three Questions

Jörgen Johansson (JJ) answered a slightly altered group of questions. He writes:

Born 1956 in the beautiful city of Lidköping, Sweden, where i still live. Been running my own bizniz since 1982, selling rare vinyl from the 60s. Wrote my first haiku in Swedish 2001 but quickly switched to English because i wanted to reach more people. Always been a fan of the one-liners made by Groucho Marx and W.C. Fields, so this led me into writing in a concise kind of way. Released two chapbooks together with Robert Wilson, 2003. Been published in Heron´s Nest, frogpond, acorn etc. Recently included in the latest issue of A New Resonance (#6) which was an honour fur sure.

1) Why do you write senryu?

Well, upon writing my first haiku in English 2003, i soon started to write in a senryu kind of way, without actually knowing what a senryu was, so i guess my mentality is suited to write this way. Inspired by the master, Al Pizzarelli, my goals are set high.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

A couple of years ago i wrote a number of Tanka poems, this love affair lasted only a couple of days and although i'm happy with the outcome when returning to them today, i haven't written a tanka since. I wrote my first ever haibun a couple of days ago and the response
was great from some fellow poets so i'll probably write some more of these.

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


red light district--
spray painted "wo" on the
"men at work" sign


class reunion--
in the entrance hall we all slip
into old roles


my pride

Here are a few additional poems (all fr my chapbook, MUD ON THE WALL, except the last 4, which are picked by senryu Maestro, Al Pizzarelli for his site in Simply Haiku)

the earthworm
moves away
from itself

the firefly's signature
on the night sky

midnight rain
slowing down as we enter
ufo country

a rabbit changes shape
on the ceiling

the plastic flowers
just in case

circus in town
the long shadow of a dwarf
on stilts

the druid arrives in his
psychedelic car

the fire eater
praises the chef’s
burnt cutlet

the stiff glove
on the ground
giving me the finger

the street musician
not to play

waitress giving a dwarf
the finger

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

A message from Penny Harter

Dear haiku friends,

As many of you know, tomorrow, October 11th, is the one-year anniversary of Bill’s death. It does not seem possible that it’s been a year already. And these past several weeks, as I’ve been remembering last summer and early fall, I’ve wanted to tell you that your many cards and notes during the two months of Bill’s illness helped keep us going. I shared every one of them with him in his hospital bed, and he was deeply moved by your outpouring of love and prayer.

And though I was dealing with so much at the time (including the weeks and months following Bill’s death when I was organizing his papers for Columbia, preparing to move, and moving) that I was not able to personally answer many of your written condolence notes, I was then, and continue to be, supported and comforted by the e-mail messages, notes, cards, and even little gifts that lovingly flowed my way in those first weeks. (I’ve kept them all.)

Those of you with whom I shared HNA Ottawa observed that by early August, I had come a good distance in my healing journey. It was wonderful to be there among you all! And I was doubly blessed by so many of you honoring Bill--sharing what knowing him had meant to you. Since Ottawa, I’ve enjoyed continuing a number of our renewed friendships via e-mail.

And though I feel somewhat subdued this weekend, I am simultaneously looking forward to renewing more haiku friendships (and finding some new ones) at the Seabeck Haiku Getaway next weekend. It is a rich community we share.

I have written a number of longer poems and haibun over the past months, working my way through grief, and half of them are already in print. If you’d like to keep up with what I’m doing, I invite you to visit my new blog at I’ve been using it mostly for professional news, but the personal does sneak in now and then. (You can scroll down for my detailed HNA post :)).

Again, a bow of thanks to my haiku family for their ongoing love and support. May you and those dear to you have a healthy and happy autumn and winter.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Elvis aka Carlos Colon

Folks, occasionally, I'll post an item or two that needs no explanation. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reminder - Moonbathing: A Journal of Women's Tanka

Founding Editors Pamela A. Babusci and Cathy Drinkwater Better, and Black Cat Press, are proud to announce the first all women's tanka journal: Moonbathing.

Moonbathing will publish two issues a year: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The journal will be small in size but huge in the quality of the tanka that is accepted and published.

Premiere Issue Tanka Contest:

For the Premier Issue (Fall/Winter 2009–10), the Editors are sponsoring a "moonbathing" tanka contest. Tanka poets may submit one tanka on the subject of “moonbathing”—whatever that means to you—for consideration, in addition to their regular submissions. The winner will be featured in the premiere issue of Moonbathing and receive a complementary copy. (Be sure to label your entry “moonbathing contest” if sending along with a regular submission.)


Moonbathing will feature only women poets. Send a maximum of five (5) tanka per submission period. Submission deadlines:

Fall/Winter Issue: In-hand Deadline: November 1st. Fall/winter or non-seasonal themes only.

Spring/Summer Issue: In-hand Deadline: May 1st. Spring/summer or non-seasonal themes only.

No previously published tanka or simultaneous submissions; no tanka that has been posted on-line, whether on a personal website/blog or on a tanka discussion group; and no publicly workshopped tanka will be considered or accepted.

Tanka poets with last names beginning: A-M:

Send your tanka IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL to: Pamela A. Babusci: moongate44(at)gmail(dot)com PLEASE NO ATTACHMENTS. Or mail to: Pamela A. Babusci, 150 Milford St., Apt. 13, Rochester, NY 14615 USA.

Tanka poets with last names beginning: N-Z:

Send your tanka IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL to: Cathy Drinkwater Better: cbetter(at)juno(dot)com PLEASE NO ATTACHMENTS. Or mail to: Cathy Drinkwater Better, 613 Okemo Drive, Eldersburg, MD 21784 USA.

Submissions will not be returned, so keep a copy of your poem(s). If sending a submission by snail-mail, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. We cannot respond to submissions without SASEs.


The Editors are looking for the "crème de la crème" in contemporary English tanka being written by female poets. Moonbathing will accept one tanka per poet per issue, and one poem will be featured per page.

We are seeking to recognize, honor, and praise the unique "female voice" and perspective in tanka. The Editors are excited about being the first women editors to offer this type of literary venue to female tanka poets, and we hope all women poets will feel honored and enthusiastic as well.


Unfortunately, at this time the Editors will not be able to provide contributors’ copies.

Due to the current economic situation—as well as our shoe-string budget—we hope that all tanka poets who have their work accepted will support Moonbathing by purchasing a copy or a subscription. If we are to succeed, the magazine will need your support—and we will be most grateful for it.


Moonbathing does not assume liability for copyright infringement or failure to acknowledge previously published tanka.


Subscriptions: $10 for one year (two issues) U.S. and Canada; $5 for one copy (includes postage). Overseas: $14 U.S. dollars. Make checks—or send cash or international money orders—payable to “Cathy Walker” to: Moonbathing, Cathy Drinkwater Better [Walker], 613 Okemo Drive, Eldersburg, MD 21784 USA.

The Editors of Moonbathing are looking forward to receiving your best tanka. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail either Pamela A. Babusci moongate44(at)gmail(dot)com or Cathy Drinkwater Better cbetter(at)juno(dot)com

Respectfully submitted,
Pamela A. Babusci,
Cathy Drinkwater Better
Co-editors/Co-founders, Moonbathing

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Poets and Poems - Scott Owens

Scott Owens
Last Supper in the Yellow Kitchen

One had to wonder what Jesus was doing

there in a kitchen so tight white walls

had turned to yellow from smoke and heat

and grease, but there he was, clueless

disciples beside him above the metal

table, red-rimmed, speckled, surrounded

by five wooden chairs with woven seats

and barely enough room to crawl in

between wall and table. He sat

every hour of every day,

palms and eyes upturned (caught

mid roll perhaps) above

bowls of grits and biscuit toast

and four boys with dirty faces,

overlooking a woman who never

sat at the table to eat, and men

who talked of nothing but farming and fishing.

Even years later, returning

long after the last time

anyone stayed for supper, to claim

what little remained, vintage bowl,

hen and rooster salt and pepper

shakers, I see him there, yellowing, otherwise

unchanged, silently waiting to ascend.

[Photo: Scott Owens at one of his favorite haunts, Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse, in Hickory, NC.]

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Contest Results - The Klostar Ivanic Haiku Contest 2009

Đurđa Vukelic-Rozic and Saša Važić sent the results of The Klostar Ivanic Haiku Contest 2009.

I encountered formatting issues when trying to post the news as a table within Blogger; however, there is more than one way to get the information to you. I've created a Google Doc of the results. Click on this link to view the document.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Harter published in The Dead Mule

Let's kick-off the workweek with a plateful of poetry, several helpings in fact:

The new issue of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature is online and reading for viewing. Among the many fine poets in this issue is our very own Penny Harter. Penny has written a beautiful Southern Legitimacy Statement (a requirement of The Mule), retracing her family ties to the South. Her poems are poignant, excellently written, very moving.

Also in this issue are poems by Michael H. Benton, Jozef Lisowski, Lisa McEntyre, Chelsea Peloquin, Amanda James Dill, Charlie G. Hughes, Norman Thomas Cooper, C. N. Bean, Christine Swint, Lamar Foster, and Justin Evans.

Southern Legitimacy Statements for each poet are located on the poetry page. After reading the SLS, click on the poet's name to read their poems.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

David Grayson - Three Questions

David GraysonDavid Grayson was born in San Francisco in 1969. Due to his interest in short poems, he became intrigued with haiku. He started experimenting with haiku in 1998. He joined the Haiku Poets of Northern California in 2002, and has been active in HPNC for several years, currently serving as Vice President. He is featured in A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, and is also a featured poet in My Neighbor, the 2009 installment of the Two Autumns chapbook and reading series. He served as Editor of Moonlight Changing Direction, the 2008 Two Autumns chapbook.

His haiku have won First Place in the 2008 Gerald Brady Senryu Contest, and Third Place and Second Honorable Mention in 2008 Anita Sadler Weiss Memorial Haiku Awards. He was the recipient of the Mariposa Chime Award for 2007.

Grayson has also written numerous book reviews and essays. Essay topics range from the relationship of modern art and haiku to Hebrew-language haiku to the formal characteristics of short poems.

He works in the Internet industry, currently as Director of Product Management for a large consumer web company. He lives with his wife and two children, in Alameda, California.

1) Why do you write haiku?

Philosophically and temperamentally, I value simplicity: boiling things to their essence. I also like the practice of suggestion, and its subtle tether. This helps haiku retain some mystery, which is essential to my experience of art.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I'm drawn to other forms of short poetry as well. Beyond short poems, I've been a longtime reader of 'mainstream' poetry, especially poetry in translation: Eastern European, Scandinavian, Spanish and Latin American.

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

Halloween party—
after a few drinks
the masks come off

Frogpond, XXVIII:3
inside the mirror: Red Moon Anthology 2005
A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku

street corner memorial—
my four-year-old
asks for the balloon

1st Place, 2008 HSA Brady Senryu Contest
My Neighbor (Two Autumns Press, 2009)

choosing a Christmas tree—
the kids think
every one is perfect

A New Resonance 6: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku

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

Jörgen Johansson will be our guest next week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Publication notes, Submissions, and a Conference

Musical Chairs: A Haiku Journey Through Childhood by Alexis Rotella is available at Here are three poems from the collection:

To a box turtle
my brother plays

In the haystack
Mama's needle

and her old Singer
both humming away.

Click on the link below to see more of this fabulous 48 page online chapbook.

Don Wentworth, proprietor of Issa's Untidy Hut, will accept submissions for the 2nd Annual Bashō Haiku Challenge during the month of October. Browse over to Issa's Untidy Hut and read the guidelines.

This just in from Denis M Garrison:

Submit your very short poems for CONCISE DELIGHT 2, Winter 2009. Submissions won’t close before 10/31 deadline. Full guidelines

Lenard D. Moore will participate in the North Carolina Library Association Biennial Conference on Thursday, October 8th. A schedule for the day's activities is available on this page.

Charlie Smith shared this link to David McMurray's Asahi Haikuist Network:

Mike Farley - haiga

Mike Farley sent the haiga below. I thought it was beautiful and, after looking out my window, appropriate.

Click on the image for a better look.