Sunday, November 8, 2009

Curtis Dunlap - Three Questions

Curtis DunlapGood friends, the Haiku/Tanka - Three Questions queue is empty. No, this doesn't mean that the series will end. I will continue to publish poets who happen upon Tobacco Road, see the list of participants and decide that they would like to add their voice to our unique choir.

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:

tobacco market
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.


nora said...

It's about time, Curtis! Thanks for bringing us this weekly delight. It is appropriate that your voice join the others. These haiku are great. I particularly like Appalachian wedding. -N

Curtis Dunlap said...

Thank you, Nora. :)

I would love to see you on Tobacco Road, too. Hopefully, the series will continue for a while longer.

Pamela A. Babusci said...

curtis, nora took the words right
out of my mouth: IT'S ABOUT TIME!!

thanks for blessing us in the haiku community with your tobacco road site.
you are a wonderful man.
love, pamela

Area 17 said...

I have to agree with the comments here. ;-)

Also, I had surprisingly actually overlooked the fact that you hadn't included yourself. I suppose that is the usual problem of being an editor, so glad you broke that rule! ;-)


John McDonald said...

I agree with everyone here and thank you for the delightful avenue that tobacco road is

extraspecialbitter said...

Curtis - thank you for asking yourself the tough questions... and answering them!

Carlos Colon said...

Well done, my good friend. - Carlos

Unknown said...

how fitting Curtis, but I know how difficult it is to include yourself...

It's difficult to pick a favorite, but within the past 7 years or so, I really enjoyed those poems that include your children.

Unknown said...

Nice read, Curtis! Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us. It is a gift - as are the many ways you so selflessly serve the haiku community here at Tobacco Road. I enjoyed what you wrote about the challenge in choosing your three favorites, "They (poems) are like children, you love them all..." That's so cool. (Still, I tend to love some of my poems a little bit less after the initial rush of having written them wears off a bit. But how I love that rush!) Thanks again! --Billie

Carole said...

Thank goodness for this little lull, then Curtis, if it finally encouraged you to join in. It was a pleasure to read your comments and your haiku. I love the word 'appalachian'; sounds so cool on the tongue and for me, summons up those beautiful mountains, especially in the fall.
Thank you for everything you bring to us, haiku, poetry, music, faces, community....

Adelaide said...

I, too, am glad to see you answer your own questions. I've enjoyed the series and hope it continues.
I also am glad to have a place that gives updates on contests, journals coming out, etc. You often are my reminder to get moving and submit something somewhere. Thanks for your continued work.

Adelaide B. Shaw

Greg said...

Those are three good haiku, but I gotta say I especially like the auctioneer one. Great flow and ending.

Curtis Dunlap said...

Thank you, all, for the kind words. It's nice to know that Tobacco Road is read and appreciated. Frankly, I was in a bit of a panic when I realized that my Three Questions inbox was empty.

I started working on my reply to the 3 at 4:45 a.m. Frankly, it took longer than I expected...pausing, reflecting on why I write haiku. It was an interesting exercise. :)

Peace and prosperity to you all.