Sunday, January 24, 2010

Susan Antolin - Three Questions

Susan AntolinSusan Antolin co-edits Mariposa, the membership journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, edited the newsletter for HPNC for the past couple of years, and will be taking on the job of newsletter editor for the Haiku Society of America in 2010. Her first individual collection of haiku and tanka, Artichoke Season, was published in July 2009 and can be purchased by contacting her at She also has a web site where she posts haibun and other haiku-related musings on a weekly basis at

1) Why do you write haiku?

The former U.S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, wrote, “The poem is the device through which the ordinary world is seen in a new way—engaging, compelling, even beautiful.” He was referring to free verse poetry, but his words are just as applicable to haiku. When I first began reading haiku and tanka while living in Japan twenty years ago, the thing that got me hooked was the very ordinariness of the subject matter. That a few simple lines about the everyday stuff of life could stop the world for a moment was amazing—and still is.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I also write tanka, haibun and have co-written a few rengay. I read, but do not write, longer poems and am a huge fan of Billy Collins.

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

the tablecloth
shaken over the lawn
starry night

Artichoke Season (Spare Poems Press, 2009)

and so I agree
not to die before she does—
the sound of crickets

San Francisco International Contest for Haiku 2008 (second place)
Artichoke Season (Spare Poems Press, 2009)

Independence Day
I struggle to free myself
from a wet swimsuit

Brady Senryu Contest 2005 (third place)
Frogpond, Volume XXIX, Number 1, Winter 2006
Artichoke Season (Spare Poems Press, 2009)

Artichoke Season

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 Susan answered. You must be a published poet to participate.


Area 17 said...

Dear Susan,

Really enjoyed your three questions, and your haiku.

I thought they were all great but the last two were fantastic for different reasons:

and so I agree
not to die before she does—
the sound of crickets

This is incredibly moving. The device of using and to start off the haiku is one of the key words in this haiku.

Your collection is worth the purchase even if it only contained this one haiku! ;-)

Readers, do visit Susan's blog, which also shows the gorgeous artichoke artwork off, which I love!

Beautiful and poignant.

Independence Day
I struggle to free myself
from a wet swimsuit

Such a good senryu. So many senryu leave me cold (no pun intended) but this is full of richness, and layers, which is why it is a superior senryu.

all my very best,

Alan’s Area 17 blog

Carlos Colon said...

Such fine poems, Susan, and of course I remember "Independence Day" from the 2005 Brady Senryu Awards.


Pamela A. Babusci said...


i love your haiku:

"and so I agree"

so elegantly said & so powerful!!

thanks for sharing your wonderful
haiku. pamela

Terri L. French said...

enjoyed reading these,Susan. Especially liked the senryu--I could really picture that and it made me laugh!

Unknown said...


And so I meet you here in Blogging Along Tobacco Road.

I really like your comment "the ordinary world is seen in a new way"
This concept appears in your poetry.

Keep up your good work, Susan.

Margaret Hehman-Smith
PS The photo is great!

snowbird said...

Susan, I really love Artichoke Season. And I too find a certain relief in coming down to the ordinary... While I may learn a thing or two from the extaordinary, the source for me is always finding the jewel in the beggar's clothing. Many thanks for your haiku and your blog...Merrill

Jessie Carty said...

i am very fond of the swimsuit one!

Unknown said...

very nice work, love the "wet swinsuit"

Sue said...

Thank you all for the kind words. I appreciate it so much. And many thanks to Curtis for maintaining this site. What a wonderful way for all of us to get to know each other...


marty45 said...

Thanks for your beautiful work. Like Gene the swimsuit got to me. Something I'm sure everyone can look at and add I've been there. :)